Lifestyle

Cancer patients need better regional health services

THE deaths of 640 bowel and breast cancer patients over a decade could have been avoided if there were no inequalities in cancer survival across regional Queensland, a new study has found.

The research has highlighted the need for policies and programs to improve health outcomes in regional areas.

Cancer Council Queensland chief Jeff Dunn said the study, published in the journal Health & Place, explored survival inequalities within five years of diagnosis across 478 regions in Queensland, based on earlier findings in CCQ's first atlas of cancer in Queensland.

"This is landmark work that highlights the importance of routine and timely access to health services for regional Queenslanders," he said. 

"There are a range of personal and broader external factors that influence the health behaviours of regional Queenslanders - this research demonstrates the vital need for regional people to seek out medical advice when they need it and without delay."

The Cancer Council Queensland and Queensland University of Technology analysed Queensland Cancer Registry data, looking at the impact of age, cancer stage at diagnosis, distance from treatment facilities and socioeconomic status on the survival of breast and bowel cancer patients in Queensland.

This found 8 % of the 6019 bowel cancer deaths (470 people) and 7 % of the 2412 women who died of breast cancer (170 people) in the 10 years to 2007 could have been avoided if there were no inequalities in cancer survival across geographical areas throughout Queensland.

"We tried to drill down and understand what was causing these inequalities," Professor Dunn said.

"Previous Cancer Council research has shown that breast and bowel cancer patients have significantly poorer survival in rural or disadvantaged areas, when compared to the Queensland average.

"If the impact of late diagnosis and socioeconomic disadvantage were removed there would be no geographical inequalities in breast cancer survival throughout Queensland.

"Women in more remote areas of Queensland were more likely to be diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and live in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas, and our study shows this is why these women experience lower survival rates.

"Research like this enables us to do more to address the disparities, and ensure greater quality of life and survival rates for people living with cancer."

The study found inequalities in bowel cancer survival decreased only moderately after adjusting for gender, age, cancer stage at diagnosis, area disadvantage and distance to treatment, suggesting other unknown reasons were important causes of geographical inequalities in survival throughout the state.

Topics:  bowel cancer breast cancer cancer cancer council queensland health services regional areas



Tweed lifeguard in running to be named state's best

Jayden Mandall has been named Lifeguard of the Year for Tweed Shire.

"He has an impeccable work ethic, and is always willing to help out”

Comeback keeps Marlins' title run alive

Kieran Duncan played a crucial role in the Marlins comeback against Nerang, and slotted the equaliser in extra-time to secure a 3-all draw for his side.

"Southport present a different challenge”

FAIR GO: Cities performance report is missing key indicators

For cities to be accurately compared, data sets need to be the same.

Local Partners

Home Alone actor John Heard dies aged 72

ACTOR John Heard has died according to reports.

What's on the small screen this week

Matty J and Osher Gunsberg in a scene from The Bachelor.

WINNERS will be crowned on MasterChef and Australian Ninja Warrior.

Beauty blogger’s horribly racist product review

Popular beauty blogger run off the internet for racist comment

Outrage as Ninja Warrior cuts Australia's fittest man

Adelaide’s James Newbury was mysteriously cut from the Ninja Warrior broadcast.

Australia's fittest man wasn’t good enough for Ninja Warrior.

Maggie's whirlwind trip around Japan

Maggie Beer pictured in a scene from her TV special Maggie in Japan.

Cooking icon serves up the best of Japanese cuisine in new TV show.

Exploring our complex relationship with the Southern Cross

Warwick Thornton in a scene from his documentary film We Don't Need A Map.

Filmmaker Warwick Thornton explores national identity, nationalism.

Ben will be cooking with Oma

Masterchef 2017 contestant Ben Ungermann.

MASTERCHEF'S last man standing will draw on his Dutch heritage.

Mum buys $900,000 apartment for her 8-year-old son

Tania Katsanis beat another couple of homeowners to secure the winning bid.

The apartment was a 'bargain' as the property market bottoms out

Owner tells of ghostly goings on at old Mackay pub

GHOST STORIES: Several people have died at the Mirani Hotel

Owner says pub is 'definitely haunted'

Developers 'pushing the envelope' with subdivisions

Darren Boettcher.

"When I said the block couldn't be subdivided, he just walked out"