Urban Dwellers at Higher Risk of Late-Stage Cancer Diagnosis

by: cancercompass

Urban dwellers are more likely to develop late-stage cancer than people living in suburban or rural areas, according to a new study published in CANCER.

Researchers from Louisiana State University and the University of Illinois analyzed data appearing in the Illinois State cancer Registry from 1998-2002. In particular, they looked at late-stage cancer diagnoses of breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancers.

According to the study, risk was highest for all four of these cancers in highly urbanized areas, such as Chicago, and decreased as areas became more rural.

Differences in age and race in various geographical areas played a role in findings for colorectal, prostate and breast cancers. Researchers found economically disadvantaged areas in Chicago and its suburbs accounted for the highest rates of late-stage diagnosis in highly urban areas studied. African American populations were particularly vulnerable to late-stage diagnosis for these cancer types.

Late-stage lung cancer diagnosis during this study was attributed to cancer awareness or diagnostic differences, rather than age and race.

Overall, researchers found a reversal in the commonly held belief that residents of rural areas are at greater risk of being diagnosed with late-stage cancer.