Up to 14,000 cases of cancer a year have been linked to deprivation suffered by people in some parts of England.
A study has revealed that these cases could be prevented if the country’s less well-off were as healthy as the richest 20%.
People from poorer backgrounds are more likely to lead unhealthy lifestyles and have a poor diet which, along with smoking and obesity, are known to increase the risk of cancer.
But education and access to healthcare are also factors that need to be addressed to remedy the discrepancy. People from poorer backgrounds are more likely to suffer from late diagnosis and inequalities in the treatments offered to them and they are also less likely to attend cancer screening programmes in their area.
Parts of the country identified by the government as deprived include Wakefield, Barnsley, Cumbria, Northumberland, Birmingham, Bolton, County Durham, Rochdale, Salford and large areas in London.
A report from the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) has found that men are more likely to suffer the effects of deprivation than women.
There are 21% more cancer cases among men in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived.
The gap between women is narrower, at 11%.
Poorer patients of both sexes are more likely to suffer a range of cancers compared with their richer counterparts.
They are more likely to have cancer of the lung, head and neck, oesophagus, bladder, cervical, stomach and liver.
But richer people are more likely to have malignant melanoma, breast and prostate cancers.
Copyright © Press Association 2010
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