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Risk of dying from cancer in England varies hugely between regions, say scientists

The risk of dying from cancer in England “varies massively” depending on where a person lives, according to a study that experts say exposes “astounding” health inequalities.

Researchers who analysed data spanning two decades found staggering geographical differences. In the poorest areas, the risk of dying from cancer was more than 70% higher than the wealthiest areas. 

Overall, the likelihood of dying from cancer has fallen significantly over the last 20 years thanks to greater awareness of signs and symptoms, and better access to treatment and care. The proportion dying from cancer before the age of 80 between 2002 and 2019 fell from one in six women to one in eight, and from one in five men to one in six.

However, some regions enjoyed a much larger decline in risk than others, and the new analysis has revealed that alarming gaps in outcomes remain.

“Although our study brings the good news that the overall risk of dying from cancer has decreased across all English districts in the last 20 years, it also highlights the astounding inequality in cancer deaths in different districts around England,” said Prof Majid Ezzati, from Imperial College London, who is a senior author of the study.

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Source: The Guardian, 11 December 2023


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