Background: Cancer centers are expected to engage communities and reduce the burden of cancer in their catchment areas. However, the extent to which cancer centers adequately reach the entire US population is unknown. Methods: We surveyed all members of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (N ¼ 102 cancer centers) to document and map each cancer center’s primary catchment area. Catchment area descriptions were aggregated to the county level. Catchment area coverage scores were calculated for each county and choropleths generated representing coverage across the US. Similar analyses were used to overlay US population density, cancer incidence, and cancer-related mortality compared with each county’s cancer center catchment area coverage. Results: Roughly 85% of US counties were included in at least one cancer center’s primary catchment area. However, 15% of US counties, or roughly 25 million Americans, do not reside in a catchment area. When catchment area coverage was integrated with population density, cancer incidence, and cancer-related mortality metrics, geographical trends in both over- and undercoverage were apparent. Conclusions: Geographic gaps in cancer center catchment area coverage exist and may be propagating cancer disparities. Efforts to ensure coverage to all Americans should be a priority of cancer center leadership. Impact: This is the first known geographic analysis and interpretation of the primary catchment areas of all US-based cancer centers and identifies key geographic gaps important to target for disparities reduction.
Recommended CitationLeader, Amy E; McNair, Christopher; Yurick, Christina; Huesser, Matthew; Schade, Elizabeth; Stimmel, Emily E; Lerman, Caryn; and Knudsen, Karen E, "Assessing the Coverage of US Cancer Center Primary Catchment Areas." (2022). Kimmel Cancer Center Faculty Papers. Paper 89.
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