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In rural America, death rates from cancer are higher

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Overall cancer death rates have decreased across the U.S. but are higher in rural parts of the country than in urban areas, according to a CDC report released today. It's the agency's first complete description of cancer in rural and urban America.

The takeaway: Death rates from cancer are higher in rural areas than urban ones but the incidence of new cases is lower in rural parts of the country.

"Differences between nonmetropolitan and metropolitan counties in cancer incidence might reflect differences in risk factors such as cigarette smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity, whereas differences in cancer death rates might reflect disparities in access to health care and timely diagnosis and treatment," the authors wrote.