Friday 7th September 2012
Two separate reports have suggested that both where a person lives, and their level of wealth, may affect their chances of surviving certain cancers.
One report from the Office for National Statistics, Geographic patterns of cancer survival in England, patients followed to 2010, revealed wide variations in one-year survival estimates between cancer networks. The largest discrepancy was for people with stomach cancer, with one-year survival varying between 28.6% and 45.5% across networks.
Mike Hobday, Macmillan Director of Policy and Research, says, ‘It is clear that every person with cancer should expect the very best chances of survival – no matter where they live. More money needs to be put into understanding and reducing these variations in order to end this cancer survival postcode lottery.’
Another study, which was presented at the National Cancer Intelligence Network conference in Birmingham this year, found that survival rates for bowel cancer were lower in more economically-deprived areas.
The researchers looked at nearly 4,300 people who had surgery for bowel cancer, and compared those of the same age at diagnosis and sex across various socioeconomic groups.
The findings showed that people with bowel cancer living in poorer areas were 24% less likely to survive than more affluent patients.
Researchers said that people presenting with symptoms at a later stage in these areas was a factor in this.