Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rural cancer survivors have more health challenges than their counterparts in metropolitan areas

Rural cancer survivors are more likely than their urban counterparts to say they are in poor health, to have other health disorders or more psychological distress, and to be unemployed due to health reasons, according to a study published in the journal Cancer. They are also more likely to have lower incomes, less education and no health insurance, lead author Kathryn Weaver told Valerie DeBenedette of Health Behavior News Service. We don't know if she told her those things are true of rural Americans generally.

Results were garnered from a survey of 7,800 cancer survivors, of whom about one in five were from rural areas. This means that about 2.8 million rural people are cancer survivors, said Weaver, an assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Unemployment or underemployment adds to rural survivors' stress because most people below retirement age get insurance through their employers. Stress could also come from being far away from oncologists and other specialists, which can also take away time from work. "If you think of the stress of cancer and not being able to afford and access health care, I am sure that that amplifies stress," Weaver said. (Read more)

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