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Later-Stage Cancer in Relation to Medically Underserved Areas in Connecticut


Health status indicators, including advanced stage at diagnosis of cancer, have been proposed as indicators of health care access and quality to be considered in revising the definition of medically underserved areas (MUAs). Using the population-based Connecticut Tumor Registry, "outlier" census tracts were defined as those that had a high proportion of breast, colorectal, or cervical cancer diagnosed at later stage, relative to all tracts in the state. In the six Connecticut cities that had MUAs, MUAs comprised the majority of outlier tracts, but non-MUA outliers were often located on the fringes of MUAs. The findings are discussed in relation to revising the criteria for defining MUAs and to targeting interventions for early detection of cancer in urban areas.