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RURALLY: Investigating the response to cancer symptoms in rural areas

More than 85% of Yorkshire is rural and some of these areas have significantly higher rates of cancer when compared to England. Rural populations in the UK often have a higher incidence of certain cancers and fewer cancers are diagnosed at an early stage when they are often easier to treat. Yorkshire Cancer Research is funding the RURALLY study, exploring how people living in rural Yorkshire experience and respond to bowel symptoms.

Animation: what affects people in rural areas going to their GP about bowel cancer symptoms?

“Evidence suggests that people living in rural areas are less likely to survive cancer than those in urban areas. One of the reasons for this is that it takes longer for people in rural areas to be diagnosed with cancer."

Lead researcher

The study is using interviews across four rural GP practices to find out about people’s experiences and the reasons why they did, or did not, go to see a GP. The aim is for local communities to help develop an intervention that encourages people to seek help early for possible cancer symptoms.

The pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for people to contact their GP with possible symptoms of cancer. An England-wide study from the University of Oxford, of which Yorkshire Cancer Research was a part, showed that between April and October 2020, 550 fewer people than expected were diagnosed with bowel cancer in Yorkshire.


Dr Christina Dobson

Research Associate at Newcastle University

Every 17 minutes someone is diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire

Our aim is for more people to survive cancer, here in Yorkshire and beyond.

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