In “Region at Risk,” The Gainesville Sun spotlighted the high rates of fatal cancers in rural areas of north Florida. The conclusions of local cancer experts appear to be that rural residents do not receive adequate medical care needed to detect and treat cancers early.
In a companion article, The Sun cites studies in North Carolina and Iowa that found that exposure to agricultural pesticides is a possible factor in increased prostate cancer in males, melanoma in farmer’s spouses and ovarian cancer risk in female pesticide applicators. But the professors interviewed for The Sun’s story did not think that pesticides are likely to be the missing link to increased cancer risk in rural north Florida. In summary, this article pointed to rural poverty and increased tobacco use as possible correlates with higher local cancer death rates.