- Compared with the rest of the United States, the population of Appalachia has lower education levels, higher rates of poverty, and limited access to health care. The presence of disparities in radiation therapy (RT) access for Appalachian patients with cancer has rarely been examined.
- Health disparities have profoundly affected underrepresented minorities throughout the United States, particularly with regard to access to evidence-based interventions such as surgery or medication. The degree of disparity in access to radiation therapy (RT) for Hispanic-American patients with cancer has not been previously examined in an extensive manner.
- American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) patients with cancer disproportionally present with more advanced stages of disease and have the worst cancer-specific survival rates of any racial/ethnic group in the United States. The presence of disparities in radiation therapy (RT) access for AI/AN patients has rarely been examined.
- African Americans experience the highest burden of cancer incidence and mortality in the United States and have been persistently less likely to receive interventional care, even when such care has been proven superior to conservative management by randomized controlled trials. The presence of disparities in access to radiation therapy (RT) for African American cancer patients has rarely been examined in an expansive fashion.