Cancer care inequality contributes to mortality gap

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Old CottageSource: Kerrin Thomas – ABC.

Cancer patients in non-metropolitan areas are dying at a higher rate than those in the city, according to research published today in the Medical Journal of Australia.

A medical oncologist from Orange, in regional New South Wales, says poor treatment options for more complex cancers are contributing to the seven percent gap in cancer mortality rates between city and country people.

Dr Peter Fox said mortality rates are worse for complex cancers, such as melanoma and oesophageal cancer.

“The way forward really needs to focus on these more complex cancers, where survival rates are particularly poor in rural areas,” he said.

“Radiotherapy access is really critical, for example there’s good evidence from some Queensland data, that for every 100 kilometres further you live from a radiotherapy centre, the mortality rates for rectal cancer increase by about six per cent.”

Cancer is the cause of death of 30 per cent of Australians…read more.

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