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Those living in rural areas less likely to survive cancer, study shows

Published on 13/12/18 at 10:35am

Those living in rural areas are less likely to survive cancer than their city dwelling counterparts, according to new research by the University of Aberdeen.

The review, which examined 39 studies form developed countries, found that people living in rural locations were 5% less likely to survive cancer in comparison to those living in cities.

Around 20% of the world’s population live in rural areas. However the review found that 30 of the 39 studies showed there was a clear ‘survival disadvantage’ for those rural residents.

The study analysed a large variety of different cancer types and involved more than 2 million people. The review sought to explain the discrepancy in suggesting that poor transport links and proximity to health centres may cause delays in patients seeking treatment.

Lead Investigator Professor Peter Murchie, a GP and primary care cancer expert from the University of Aberdeen commented: “A previous study showed the inequality faced by rural cancer dwellers in north-east Scotland and we wanted to see if this was replicated in other parts of the world,”

“The task now is to analyse why this is the case and what can be done to close this inequality gap. In this paper we have considered some of the potential reasons but these must really be analysed in closer detail.”

Louis Goss

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