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The risk of late-stage cancer is higher for people who live in the city and other urbanized areas than it is for those who live in suburban and rural areas, according to a new study published in Cancer, the journal of the American Cancer Society.
According to authors Sara L. McLafferty of the University of Illinois and Fahui Wang of Louisiana State University, the results indicate a need for better urban-based cancer testing. Catching cancer at an early stage can improve outcomes.
"The concentration of health disadvantage in highly urbanized places emphasizes the need for more extensive urban-based cancer screening and education programs, especially programs targeted to the most vulnerable urban populations and neighborhoods," they write.
The researchers analyzed data from the Illinois State Cancer Registry from 1998 to 2002. They compared data from urban and rural areas on late-stage cancer diagnoses of the four major types of cancer (breast, colorectal, lung and prostate) throughout the state.
For all four cancers, risk was highest in Chicago, the most highly urbanized area, and decreased as areas became more rural until the most isolated rural areas where risk went back up. The lowest risk for late-stage cancer was found among patients living in large towns in rural areas.
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