Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2018

Improving outcomes for rural cancer survivors in Australia: new research questions from an international Churchill Fellowship (#201)

Kate Gunn 1
  1. University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

People diagnosed with cancer who live in remote or very remote areas of Australia are 35% more likely to die within 5 years of a cancer diagnosis than those living in highly accessible areas. To address this problem, effective and sustainable strategies focused on assisting more rural Australians to access optimal cancer treatment and adopt healthier lifestyles during and after cancer treatment, so that they can better manage treatment side effects and reduce their risk of cancer reoccurring, require implementation. As part of a body of behavioral research focused on addressing this, and building upon her experience working with people affected by cancer as a Clinical Psychologist as well as from growing up in an isolated rural community, [NAME TO BE ADDED AFTER REVIEW] recently undertook a Churchill Fellowship to ascertain pertinent research questions that are likely to translate into sustainable interventions and improved outcomes for this disadvantaged group of cancer survivors. Information was gathered from the World Rural Health Conference in New Delhi as well as visits to Macmillan Cancer Support in London, and universities, cancer control organisations, treatment centres and non-government organisations across the Netherlands, Canada and United States, including the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society. This resulted in the generation of rurally-relevant research questions for testing in the Australian setting relating to, for example, the delivery of chemotherapy close to home, lay and nurse-led patient navigation and the sustainable delivery of supportive care interventions via the internet and telehealth networks, which will be discussed. While addressing rural-urban cancer disparities in the United States using culturally appropriate methods is currently receiving much attention, rural Australians affected by cancer would benefit from more funding and effort being directed towards meaningful, translational research in this field.