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High Rate of Cancer Death in Rural FL

The highest cancer rates in the state have been reported from North Central Florida counties, and the rates are also much higher than the national average, the Gainesville Sun reports. 

A report points to lifestyle risk factors, as well as a shortage of doctors amid high poverty rates. Without primary care, people often get too sick before they seek medical attention. A solution that works in other areas isn’t feasible in Florida: Experts say physicians assistants and  nurse practitioners could help in rural areas, but the state’s rules on medical supervision are so strict that these professions are constrained. 

Meantime, an expert from the University of Florida says chemicals from insecticides and pesticides can’t be blamed for the region’s high prevalence of cancer, the Sun reports.  

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.