Promoting Rural Cancer Care Innovation
Institutional approaches to close The Rural Cancer Gap
Disparities in rural-urban cancer outcomes have been well documented. Rural cancer patients face barriers to multidisciplinary care, decreased access, increased travel requirements, financial burdens, and inadequate clinical trial infrastructure. Economic, social, and structural barriers compound the problem. Rural residents engage in fewer cancer-preventive activities and adopt more fatalistic views about cancer and cancer prevention. These discrepancies are commonly referred to as the Rural Cancer Gap. Despite a better understanding of the causes of the Rural Cancer Gap, the problem has worsened. Over the last twenty years, the gap in rural-urban age-adjusted cancer mortality rates has widened.
Expand services and decrease travel distances to increase rural patients' access to care.
Mitigate financial burdens when insurance coverage is limited.
Open avenues to clinical trial participation.
Create partnerships between providers and community leaders to address local gaps in care.
Levit LA, Byatt L, Lyss AP, Paskett ED, Levit K, Kirkwood K, Schenkel C, Schilsky RL. Closing the Rural Cancer Care Gap: Three Institutional Approaches. JCO Oncol Pract. 2020 Jul;16(7):422-430.