Rural Appalachia has gone from having the lowest cancer death rate in the country to the highest, according to new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. In a paper outlining their findings, the researchers label the disparities “pervasive.”
Aaron Yao is assistant professor of public health sciences at the school of medicine. He says technology, medical care and prosperity have advanced in other parts of the country and left Appalachia behind. Telehealthcare is a start, and UVA has already established a program.
But he says there are many economic, geographic and political challenges that stand in the way of reducing cancer in Appalachia. He says it is a recipe for late diagnosis and death.
UVA has established Telehealth clinics in Appalachia and that is part of the answer,but it is also about smoking and unemployment and politics and isolation and it adds up.