Rich People Get Milder Cancers and Live Longer, Says Health Survey

By Gary Cutlack on at

The National Cancer Research Institute has published some shocking research into the distribution of cancer around the UK, with its numbers showing that people living in poorer areas are more likely to be diagnosed with the killer cancers -- while more affluent folk suffer the more treatable types and live longer post-diagnosis.

The study shows that 8 out of 10 long-term survivors of cancer -- those living more than 10 years after diagnosis -- come from the richer parts of the UK, where they're more likely to be diagnosed with the more survivable forms of the disease such as breast or skin cancer. In poorer areas, work and life conditions conspire to cause liver or lung cancer, the more devastating and harder to treat types of cancers.

The stats tracked sufferers diagnosed with cancer between 1991 and 2010, and who were still alive by the end of 2010. Cancer charity Macmillan paints a particularly grim picture of the UK's rich/poor cancer divide, explaining: "People living with lung, liver or cervical cancer are almost three times more likely to live in the most deprived areas than those with skin cancer."

"In addition, for eight of the top 10 most common cancers, long-term survivors are more likely to be from the least deprived areas, highlighting the poorer survival and higher mortality rates associated with the most deprived group for some of these cancers." [Macmillan]