The impact of geography on the cancer journey: can we compare it?

Peter Murchie, Andy Jones, Line Flytkjaer Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractpeer-review


Theme and purpose:
Research in several countries has found that geographical factors can affect the way they experience cancer. Most work to date has suggested that rural residence may lead to poorer cancer outcomes, with a tendency for people to present later, be diagnosed with later stage disease, and have increased mortality. The explanation for poorer rural cancer outcomes remain obscure although access to healthcare facilities, differences in treatment received, and different attitudes in rural people have all been suggested by researchers in individual countries. As clinical datasets continue to improve, the opportunity exists to compare the effect of geography on the cancer journey in different countries. Such an approach may bring us closer to an understanding if and why living in the countryside affects the cancer journey.
This workshop has three purposes:
To summarise current knowledge on the impact of geography on cancer
To review potential explanations in an international context
To discuss possible international differences and similarities
To identify datasets for potential global comparisons
Content (including ways in which participants will be actively engaged)
Part 1: 15 minutes – Brief presentation summarising what is known about the impact of geography on cancer outcomes.
Part 2: 20 minutes – Discussing the international context. How could rurality affect the cancer journey and why might the effect be different in different countries?
Part 3: 40 minutes - Identifying the scope and availability of national data on cancer outcomes and geography. Discussing the practicalities of attempting international comparative work.
Who should attend: Anyone with an interest in how geography may affect cancer outcomes. We aim to identify datasets to use in international comparisons. Therefore, researchers with access to relevant datasets and who might be interested in an international collaboration may be particularly interested.
Relevant datasets will contain:
Patient level data about cancer diagnostic pathways and/or outcomes (e.g. diagnostic intervals, treatment received, stage at diagnosis, mortality). Single-site datasets (e.g. data about colorectal cancers alone) or datasets combining data on cancer sites from several sites would be equally invaluable.
Patient Postal or ZIP codes to enable calculations using GIS technology.
Anticipated outcomes: To develop an international CaPRI collaboration to combine national data examining the impact of geography on cancer outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57
Number of pages1
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Early online date3 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


  • Cancer
  • Diagnostic delay
  • Geography


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