News

Cancer Survivors in Rural Areas Often Skip Care Due to Costs: Study

Robert Preidt
Older cancer survivors in rural areas are more likely than those in urban areas to forgo medical and dental care because they can't afford it, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 7,800 cancer survivors -- 1,642 from rural areas and 6,162 from urban areas -- who took part in the U.S. National Health Interview Surveys between 2006 and 2010.

Fifty-one percent of the participants were aged 65 and older, and most were covered by Medicare and supplemental Medicaid or private insurance.

The researchers found that older cancer survivors in rural areas were 66 percent more likely than those in urban areas to do without medical care and 54 percent more likely to skip dental care because of cost, according to the study published Oct. 4 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Older cancer survivors in rural areas may have to travel farther to get to a doctor or dentist, which means they have higher out-of-pocket costs related to travel and lost wages, the researchers noted.

They may also have less social support and help with transportation if younger family members leave rural areas for better economic opportunities in cities.

"This is the first population-based study to examine whether cancer survivors in rural and urban areas are equally likely to forgo health care as a result of concerns about cost," study author Nynikka Palmer, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of social sciences and health policy at Wake Forest School of Medicine, said in a journal news release.

"We found a disparity among older survivors, for whom health insurance coverage through Medicare is almost universal, while no disparity was found for younger survivors after controlling for various factors. This suggests that health insurance coverage alone may not ensure equal access to health care."

Source: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, Oct. 4, 2013



Click Here
 
Older cancer survivors in rural areas are more likely than those in urban areas to forgo medical and dental care because they can't afford it, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from more than 7,800 cancer survivors -- 1,642 from rural areas and 6,162 from urban areas -- who took part in the U.S. National Health Interview Surveys between 2006 and 2010. (More...)

Blacks with colon cancer are about half as likely as whites to get a type of colon cancer that has a better chance of survival, a new study says. (More...)

Obese women might be able to eliminate their increased risk for postmenopausal breast cancer by taking measures during perimenopause to prevent weight gain and to therapeutically control the metabolic effects of their obesity, according to the results of a preclinical study in an animal model from the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. The University of Colorado is home to the University of Colorado Cancer Center. (More...)

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection contributes substantially to the epidemic of anal cancer in men, but not women in the United States, according to new research from NCI. Anal cancer is rare, with an estimated 6,230 cases in 2012 but incidence rates in the U.S. have risen steadily over the past several decades. This new study documents that among men, half of this increase is explained by cases occurring in those who are HIV-positive. (More...)

Changing the Face of Clinical Trials: "Overall, only about 5 to 10 percent of cancer patients participate in clinical trials. And when it comes to African-American cancer patients, the figures are even lower: 2 to 4 percent. This low participation makes it difficult for researchers to get answers to critical questions: Why are African-Americans more likely to develop certain cancers than other racial and ethnic groups and have higher death rates for some types of the disease? Is it lifestyle? Genetics? Treatment response? Access to health care? No one yet knows. But researchers believe that increasing the number of African-Americans in cancer trials will help them find out. So that can happen, more efforts are under way to identify the reasons that so few African-American cancer patients join clinical trials?and to implement programs that can put them on the clinical trials track." (More...)

Vanderbilt study finds diverse genetic alterations in triple-negative breast cancers: Most triple-negative breast cancer patients who were treated with chemotherapy to shrink the tumor prior to surgery still had multiple genetic mutations in their tumor cells, according to a study by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) investigators. Finding multiple mutations instead of just one primary mutation that can be targeted for therapy sheds more light on the challenges of treating triple-negative breast cancer. (More...)