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

University of Leicester and University of Cambridge used data from the Eastern Cancer Registry who have good information on stage at diagnosis, but made some assumptions when estimating figures for the whole of England.

Dr Rutherford added: "Our research highlights that important and significant improvements could be made in terms of the number of early deaths that are observed for women living in more deprived areas by concentrating on making sure these women are diagnosed earlier.

"The findings suggest that policies aimed at reducing inequalities in stage at diagnosis between women with breast cancer are important to reduce inequalities in breast cancer survival.

"Being diagnosed with earlier stage disease has a significant impact on survival chances. It is clear from the results of the study that women from more deprived areas are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage disease. Removing these deprivation inequalities in stage at diagnosis can substantially reduce the number of deaths in the short-term for more deprived women."

Dr Martine Bomb, head of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, said: "There is already good evidence that breast cancer survival is poorer among more deprived women, and this research helps us understand more about why that might be. More needs to be done to tackle this inequality to ensure everyone has the same chance of surviving breast cancer, no matter where they live.

"Cancer Research UK is working in partnership with others to help people get to know their bodies, know what signs to look out for that could be cancer and see their doctor sooner rather than later if they have noticed something out of the ordinary. Spotting breast cancer at an early stage makes a real difference to women's chance of surviving the disease, and we must ensure this is a reality for all."


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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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