Cambridge researchers find breast cancer deaths ’increase with deprivation’

New research from Cambridge and Leicester Universities presented at November’s National Cancer Research Institute cancer conference in Liverpool, has concluded that deprivation at the time of diagnosis could be responsible for about 450 breast cancer deaths each year.
After analysis over 20,000 breast cancer cases, diagnosed between 2006 and 2010, researchers found that women in lower income groups were more likely to be diagnosed when the disease was more advanced.
Dr Gary Abel, a statistician at Cambridge University and study author, stated that “These avoidable deaths are not due to differences in the response to treatment, or the type of breast cancer. Rather these are deaths that might be avoided if cancer was caught as early in women from deprived backgrounds as those from more affluent backgrounds. The reason for this inequality may be a combination of these women being less aware of breast cancer symptoms and a greater reluctance to see their GP.”
(Ed: While Abel indicates there is no difference in treatment and that these women from deprived backgrounds were diagnosed at a later state, it could also be true that they had less money for a good anti-cancer diet, supplements and exercise programmes than more wealthy women. Good diet, weight control and exercise have all been linked to increased survival times).

Nov - Dec 2013 Cancer Watch
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