Rural Americans die from cancer more than people in the city, CDC says

But overall, cancer is less common in those areas.

Americans who live out in the country die from cancer more often than people who live in big cities. That's according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This week, the CDC released cancer incidence data from 2004 to 2015.

It found that nonmetropolitan rural counties had a lower incidence of cancer, overall. However tobacco-related cancers were more common in those areas. So were cancers that can be prevented by screenings – like colorectal, breast, and cervical cancers.

Along with that, there were more deaths related to those cancers.

Health officials say the fact that those cancers are more common might have to do with higher rates of obesity and smoking. And the higher death rates might be because there's less access to hospitals for diagnosis and treatment.

The study also found that getting the HPV vaccine isn't as common in nonmetropolitan areas. That vaccine is typically recommended for kids and teens to prevent cancers related to the human papillomavirus (HPV). Learn more about it here.

What to do about it?

The CDC says it'll use the data to figure out the best way to reduce cancer deaths in America.

While there's not a specific plan written out, the report notes that officials will likely look for ways to encourage more rural Americans to visit the doctor for vaccines and screenings.

The information will be used to help the Healthy People 2020 initiative. It has a bunch of goals and objectives including reducing the death rates for a bunch of different cancers.

You can learn more about the initiative here.

Next Up