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Postcode inequality for cancer diagnosis 'costs lives'
Date:4/29/2013

Hundreds of women with breast cancer living in England's most deprived areas would have better survival rates if they were diagnosed at the same stage as those who lived in affluent areas.

A new study led by the University of Leicester, working with colleagues from Public Health England and the University of Cambridge, investigated how much of a difference late-stage diagnosis had on women from deprived areas.

The team calculated how many deaths would be postponed beyond 5 years from diagnosis if as many women in the more deprived areas were diagnosed at an earlier stage as those in most affluent areas.

The researchers were funded by both Cancer Research UK and The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Their work will be published in the International Journal of Cancer and is available on line ahead of publication at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.28221/abstract

The research team consisted of:

At the University of Leicester, Department of Health Sciences: Dr Mark Rutherford, Sally Hinchliffe and Professor Paul Lambert.

At the University of Cambridge, Centre for Health Services Research, Institute of Public Health: Dr Gary Abel, Dr Georgios Lyratzopoulos and Dr David Greenberg.

Dr Mark Rutherford, of the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester, said: "A number of previous studies have shown poorer breast cancer survival for women who live in more deprived areas. Our study looks at how much of these differences are due to later stage disease at diagnosis for women who live in more deprived areas.

"We found that for a typical yearly cohort of breast cancer patients in England, 450 deaths could have been postponed beyond 5 years of diagnosis if the stage distribution for all women matched that of the most affluent."

The teams from the
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Contact: Mark Rutherford
mark.rutherford@le.ac.uk
44-011-622-97292
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert

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