Cancer Patients

  • For people living in rural and regional areas, cancer care net out of pocket expenses are five times higher than those living in urban areas.
  • Rural cancer patients have a greater level of anxiety and distress and emotional concerns than those cancer patients living in urban areas because they are away from home.
  • A recent study discussed the trend in cancer patients foregoing healthcare after cancer treatment due to costs. The report suggested that cancer survivors in rural areas over the age of 65 were more likely than their urban counterparts to forgo follow-up cancer care because of cost. The author of this article hears often from physicians in rural or small communities that they frequently have to convince patients to travel for cancer care due to the cost. It is not unusual for the closest cancer center offering standard chemotherapy and radiation therapy to be 90 – 250 miles away.
  • 36% of new cancer cases are diagnosed in rural regional areas.
  • In some cases, people choose the type of treatment they will have based not on what is needed but on the proximately to their home and some refuse treatment all together.
  • Rural cancer patients are 35% more likely to die within five years of diagnosis than patients in large cities, despite the breakthroughs in cancer treatments.
  • Survival rate is lower in lower socioeconomic areas when compared to areas of higher socioeconomic status
  • Waiting times for radiation therapy in rural cancer center is well above the bench mark of 14 days.