Deaths from cancer higher in rural America, CDC finds

Despite decreases in cancer death rates nationwide, a new report shows they are higher in rural America than in urban areas of the United States.

The report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that rural areas had higher rates of new cases as well as of deaths from cancers related to tobacco use, such as lung and laryngeal cancers, and those that can be prevented by screening, such as colorectal and cervical cancers.

Differences in the incidence of cancer, or the rates of new cases, could arise because of risk factors such as smoking, obesity and a lack of physical activity, the report said.

But differences in the death rates could result from disparities in access to health care and timely diagnosis and treatment, researchers concluded. A higher percentage of rural Americans are uninsured, limiting their access to preventive services covered by insurance, according to federal health data.

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