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Cancer Health Disparities

Spatial Analysis of Radon Testing and Mitigation in Illinois: A Public Health Perspective

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. It accounts for more than 21,000 deaths ever year in the United States. Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless and tasteless gas that can seep into groundwater and into homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings.  Risk of radon-attributable lung cancer can be reduced if homeowners and tenants test their homes and install mitigation apparatuses if their radon levels are high. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that all homes be tested for radon and homes with radon values above 4.0 picocuries/L be mitigated. Homes may be tested using either a licensed professional or through purchase of a home test kit. Read More >

Addressing rural cancer health disparities: An SCC-SIUSM Partnership

Cancer disparities in the United States exist among distinct community populations most notably categorized by geography, income level, and race/ethnicity, where higher cancer risk and worse outcomes persist. Although poverty is often associated with health disparities, impoverished rural communities are often overlooked and underrepresented in research studies, even in the most economically distressed areas in the nation. Rural counties frequently have worse cancer outcomes, and are Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) and Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Rural populations experience lower access to health care along the dimensions of affordability, proximity, and quality, compared with their urban counterparts. They often experience higher rates of cancer, poorer survival, and less utilization of preventive services. Recent data indicate that the health gap between rural and other residents is widening. Read More > 
 


PAST PROJECTS

Spatial Analysis of Rural Disparities in Staging and Oncologic Outcomes for Esophageal and Pancreas Cancer

Esophagectomy and pancreatectomy are complex surgical procedures that have demonstrated strong inverse relationships between hospital and surgeon volume and operative mortality, which has led to the implementation of national quality-improvement and process measures. Centralization of surgical management for esophageal and pancreas cancer has thus been endorsed to promote optimal oncologic care. Despite an impetus towards regionalization, rural access to specialty providers and facilities and disparities in staging and outcomes have yet to be investigated for these two particularly hard-to-treat cancers. Read More >