Honors College Theses

Date

2022

Major

Radiologic Sciences (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Laurie Adams

Abstract

Objective: To identify the locations of linear accelerators, the equipment used to deliver radiation therapy, in Georgia. Identify the rural counties in Georgia to determine how far residents of those counties must drive to reach the closest linear accelerator.

Methods: A study was performed to find the distance from the geographical center of each rural county in Georgia to the closest linear accelerator within the state. The rural counties in Georgia were defined using 2017 data from the Georgia Department of Community Health. Linear accelerator locations were identified using vendor data. Reverse geocoding from the Google Maps platform found the geographical centers of each rural county. Google Maps was then utilized to find the distance between the geographical center and the closest linear accelerator. The counties were categorized by distance into the following ranges: >40 miles, 20-39.9 miles, 10-19.9 miles, and

Results: One hundred seventeen counties in Georgia were defined as rural. Twenty-nine counties had geographical centers that were >40 miles away from a linear accelerator. Sixty-four counties fell within the 20-39.9-mile range. Fifteen counties were within 10-19.9 miles. The geographical center of nine counties was withinaccelerator.

Conclusion: There is an unequal distribution of linear accelerators across the state of Georgia in favor of urban areas. Residents of rural counties in Georgia live further from linear accelerators.

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