Research
Print page Print page
Switch language
The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
Published

Examining geographic accessibility to radiotherapy in Canada and Greenland for indigenous populations: Measuring inequities to inform solutions

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  1. The Danish Head and Neck Cancer Group (DAHANCA) 2020 radiotherapy guidelines

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearchpeer-review

  2. Measurement of circulating free DNA in squamous cell carcinoma of the anus and relation to risk factors and recurrence

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  1. Distant metastases in squamous cell carcinoma of the pharynx and larynx: a population-based DAHANCA study

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Incidence and survival of head and neck cancer in the Faroe Islands

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Jessica Chan
  • Jeppe Friborg
  • Eduardo Zubizarreta
  • Jan Willem van Eck
  • Timothy P Hanna
  • Jean-Marc Bourque
  • Marc Gaudet
  • Kristopher Dennis
  • Robert Olson
  • C Norman Coleman
  • Alice J Petersen
  • Cai Grau
  • May Abdel-Wahab
  • Michael Brundage
  • Ben Slotman
  • Alfredo Polo
View graph of relations

BACKGROUND: A high cancer burden exists among indigenous populations worldwide. Canada and Greenland have similar geographic features that make health service delivery challenging. We sought to describe geographic access to radiotherapy for indigenous populations in both regions.

METHODS: We used geospatial analyses to calculate distance and travel-time from indigenous communities in Canada and Greenland to the nearest radiotherapy center. We calculated the proportion of indigenous communities and populations residing within a 1 and 2-hour drive of a radiotherapy center in Canada, and compared the proportion of indigenous versus non-indigenous populations residing within each drive-time area. We calculated the potential distance and travel-time saved if radiotherapy was available in northern Canada (Yellowknife and Iqaluit), and Greenland (Nuuk).

RESULTS: Median one-way travel from indigenous communities to nearest radiotherapy center in Canada was 268 km (3 h when considering any transportation mode), and 4111 km (6 h by plane) in Greenland. In Canada, 84% and 68% of indigenous communities were outside a 1 and 2-hour drive from a radiotherapy center, respectively. Only 2% of the total population in Canada resided outside a 2-hour drive from a radiotherapy center. However, indigenous peoples were 336 times more likely to live more than a 2-hour drive away, compared to non-indigenous peoples. Nearly 3 million km and 4000 h of travel could be saved over a 10-year period for patients with newly diagnosed cancers in Canada, and 7 million km and 10,000 h in Greenland, if radiotherapy was available in Yellowknife, Iqaluit and Nuuk.

CONCLUSIONS: Geography is an important barrier to accessing radiotherapy for indigenous populations in Canada and Greenland. A significant disparity exists between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in Canada. Geospatial analyses can help highlight disparities in access to inform radiotherapy service planning.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRadiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
Volume146
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
ISSN0167-8140
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Canada, Greenland, Humans, Neoplasms/radiotherapy, Travel

ID: 67942531