Evidence has shown that rural communities in the United States face disadvantages compared with urban areas, including higher poverty rates, lower educational attainment, and lack of access to health services. Populations living in rural areas have higher average death rates for all cancer sites combined, compared to populations in urban counties. Additionally, rural counties have higher incidence and death rates for cancers associated with smoking (e.g., lung and laryngeal cancers) and higher rates of incidence of cancers that can be prevented by screening (i.e., colorectal and cervical cancers).
Some of the higher incidence and mortality rates for cancer can be attributed to barriers in accessing health services in rural areas. Research has also shown that some of these cancer disparities relate to financial barriers (e.g., no insurance or insufficient insurance coverage), transportation issues, and lack of preventive and screening services. There are also rural-urban differences in health behaviors that are associated with cancer, including higher rates of tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and obesity, and less physical activity, less-frequent adoption of sun safety measures, and lower HPV vaccination rates in rural compared to urban areas.
Currently, DCCPS has few funded projects focused specifically on rural populations. This long-standing public health challenge calls for sustained support for research along the entire cancer control continuum. We also need to better understand the various definitions of the term “rural” and their uses in health research – and specifically for cancer control. Focused research initiatives would provide the groundwork to develop and implement cancer control programs that are sustainable in these communities across the United States. In recognition of this need and to inform NCI’s efforts to better address cancer disparities in rural communities, DCCPS staff are working closely with our agency partners and a wide variety of experts to analyze the current evidence and scale up our research efforts in rural cancer control.
Research Centers/Funded Sites
|Name||Address||Rural Cancer Control|
|FY 2018||FY 2019|
|Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine||660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110|
|Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University||4100 John R, Detroit, MI 48201|
|Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center||1100 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109|
|Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center - University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center||2201 Inwood Road, Dallas, TX 75390|
|Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at The University of Iowa||200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242|
|Huntsman Cancer Institute||2000 Circle of Hope, Salt Lake City, UT 84103|
|Mayo Clinic Cancer Center||200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905|
|Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock||One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756|
|Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute||3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239|
|Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center||Elm & Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263|
|Stephenson Cancer Center at The University of Oklahoma||800 NE 10th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73104|
|The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center||650 Ackerman Road, Columbus, OH 43202|
|University of Alabama, Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center||1824 Sixth Ave. South, Birmingham, AL 35294|
|University of California-Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center||4501 X St., Sacramento, CA 95817|
|University of Kentucky, Markey Cancer Center||800 Rose St., Lexington, KY 40536|
|University of North Carolina, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center||450 West Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599|
|University of Arizona Cancer Center||1515 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85724|
|University of Colorado Cancer Center||13001 E. 17th Place, Aurora, CO 80045|
|University of Kansas Cancer Center||3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, KS 66160|
|University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center||1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109|
|University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center||1201 Camino de Salud NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131|
|The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center||1515 Holcombe Blvd., Unit 91, Houston, TX 77030|
|University of Virginia Cancer Center||6171 West Complex, Charlottesville, VA 22908|
|University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center||1111 Highland Ave., Madison, WI 53705|
|University of Southern California, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center||1441 Eastlake Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089|
|Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center||691 Preston Research Building, Nashville, TN 37232|
|Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center||1 Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27157|
Selected Government-Supported Publications
Canceled, due to COVID-19: April 16-17, 2020: Intervention Research to Improve Native American Health (IRINAH) Annual Meeting, NIH Main Campus (Natcher Building) in Bethesda, MD.
The goal of this meeting is to discuss what has been discovered and learned after 10 years of IRINAH, including successes, challenges, and ways culture is critical to intervention science for the improvement of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian health.
August 3-4, 2020: Advancing Rural Cancer Prevention and Control in the Next Decade, Siteman Cancer Center, St. Louis, MO