(HealthDay News) — Cancer survivors are more likely to face transportation barriers to health care than the general population, according to a study published online March 24 in JAMA Oncology.

Changchuan Jiang, M.D., from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York, and colleagues assessed self-reported transportation barriers among cancer survivors and the general population.

The analysis included 11,586 adults with and 136,609 adults without a cancer history participating in the U.S. National Health Interview Survey (2014 to 2018).

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The researchers found that cancer survivors were more likely to report delays in care due to transportation barriers in the preceding 12 months than adults without a cancer history (3.1 versus 1.8 percent). More transportation barriers were seen among younger survivors than their cancer-free peers, while elderly respondents faced similar transportation burden regardless of cancer history.

Transportation barriers were more likely among cancer survivors who were younger, poor, uninsured or publicly insured, or unmarried, or who had self-reported physical functional limitations.

“People with a history of cancer usually have increased medical needs for treatment of cancer and other illnesses, and timely access to care is critical to optimize health outcomes,” Jiang said in a statement. “Transportation is a potentially modifiable but often overlooked barrier to cancer care.”

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