Study shows rural folk are at greater risk of cancer

LIVING outside Australia's largest cities could mean a higher risk of cancer, after new research published today shows falling rates of cancer deaths in metropolitan areas are not translating to the regions.

A study by Dr Michael Coory of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute compared a decade of cancer deaths in census data then compared cities and regional areas.

In those 10 years, the risk of dying from cancer in Australia fell by 1% but figures showed a lower risk for city dwellers.

This difference added up to 8878 extra cancer deaths in regional and remote areas. Most of these were related to melanoma, lung, prostate, oesophagus or colon cancers.

The researchers believe more and better targeted funding in regional areas could shrink the disparity.

One solution could be to send health professionals to regional and remote areas on a fly-in, fly-out basis, according to the article.

More research is still needed on what impact health funding and planning has on the rate of regional cancer deaths.

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