Cutler Institute

Rural Mainers Experience Treatment Delays for Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and deaths in rural areas due to lung cancer are twenty percent higher than in urban areas. Maine ranks among the highest in rates of lung cancer incidence and death. These dire statistics led a group of researchers from the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, including Dr. Erika Ziller of the Muskie School, to examine the relationship between persons living in a rural area in Maine and their stage of lung cancer at time of diagnosis and treatment.

Understanding the relationships between rurality and the delivery and quality of cancer care is the first step to improving cancer outcomes in rural areas. Based on their findings, the authors recommend improving access to lung cancer treatments and focused attention on the identification and removal of barriers to timely treatment. This study was published online February 19, 2019, in an early release of the Journal of Rural Health.

Suggested Citation: Fairfield, K., Black, A., Lucas, F., Murray, K., Ziller, E., Korsen, N., Han, P. (2019). Association between rurality and lung cancer treatment characteristics and timeliness. Journal of Rural Health. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12355