Cancer survival poorer for rural patients – travel time may be a factor in decisions

One-year survival rates are lower for those who live in rural areas, found a study by the University of Aberdeen. They say longer travel distance limits treatment choices and follow-up care

“… It could be that living in rural areas where you have to travel further to receive treatment might limit treatment choices once a diagnosis has been made.

‘There is evidence that when faced with two treatment options, patients might weigh the costs in terms of time, expense and inconvenience of travel against the perceived benefits, for example, choosing surgery over chemotherapy to limit time in hospital.

Lengthy or difficult travel to a cancer centre or hospital could also result in less limit engagement with post-primary treatment follow-up, with consequent implications for the effective management of treatment effects and the identification of other follow-up needs.’ …”