The region known as Appalachia stretches across a large geographical area in the U.S., including all of West Virginia and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The 250,000 square miles that make up the Appalachian region encompass both rural counties and metropolitan areas, and it is home to 25.7 million people. Of Appalachia’s 420 counties, 25 percent are rural.
The poverty and lack of healthcare resources that characterize Appalachia have led to sustained, elevated levels of morbidity and mortality for many diseases when compared to other regions in the U.S. For example, according to a 2020 report by the Appalachia Regional Commission, Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia, the region’s cancer mortality rate is 10 percent higher than the national cancer mortality rate; in the region’s rural counties, it is 15 percent higher.
Central Appalachia has the highest cancer rate in the region at 32 percent higher than the national rate. Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia have the highest state-level cancer mortality rates. The Appalachian portions of those states all exceed 190 cases per 100,000 people, well above the national average of 168 cases per 100,000 people. Appalachian Kentucky’s rate of 227 cases per 100,000 people exceeds the national average by 35 percent.
Through this project, TOPS—together with ACCC—will work with community oncology practitioners to identify and address challenges to providing cancer care to rural Appalachian communities by:
If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Lile, Program Manager, ACCC Provider Education.
To guide this multi-phase initiative, ACCC will convene an Advisory Committee of ACCC and Oncology State Society stakeholders, ASCO leaders, LUNGevity and GO2Foundation patient advocacy representatives, public health experts from the Appalachian region, and lung cancer screening program navigator(s) to:
Success will be measured by changes in provider attitudes and self-reported changes in behavior, as well as patient-reported outcomes related to:
FACT SHEET: Private Sector Steps Up on Cancer Moonshot Call to Action on Cancer Screening
The White House News Release, May 11, 2022
The Rural Appalachian Lung Cancer Screening Initiative is made possible by support from AstraZeneca.