Rural Cancer Patients Diagnosed Earlier Than Urban Resident - Associated Content

Rural Cancer Patients Diagnosed Earlier Than Urban Resident - Associated Content: "Dartmouth College researchers have discovered that, contrary to popular belief, it is rural patients--not urbanites--who receive the earlier cancer diagnosis. These findings, according to a press release from Dartmouth, is applicable at least for those who wound up receiving diagnoses of colorectal cancer and lung cancer--two diseases most treatable when caught early.

This information can also be found in an article, "Rural Versus Urban Colorectal and Lung Cancer Patients: Differences in Stage at Presentation," which has been published in the November 2007 issue of Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Ian Paquette (a general surgery resident), and Sam Finlayson (surgeon and vice chair for academic affairs for the Department of Surgery) are both of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and wrote the article.

The researchers pored over data concerning national figures on lung and colorectal cancers and discovered that rural patients were trending toward getting diagnosed earlier than urban dwellers even when such factors as race, gender, marital status, and income and education levels were controlled; such demographic information is usually significant when determining which patients are diagnosed with late-stage cancers.

These findings are highly important in determining where to focus screening efforts, which can help reduce the number of people who are first diagnosed with their cancers in later stages. Generally speaking, the earlier a cancer is caught, the better the prognosis will be for the patient. The press release states that the reasons colorectal and lung cancer received the focus of this study is because these are two types of cancer surgeons usually see among their everyday patients. "