Cancer rate a third higher in Scotland's most deprived areas - IDS

People living in Scotland's most deprived neighbourhoods are far more likley to be diagnosed with cancer according to stark new figures published by the Scottish NHS.

ISD figures for up to 2017 show cancer rates are more than a third higher in Scotland’s most deprived areas – and mortality rates from cancer are 76 per cent higher.

These latest figures also suggest the number of cancer diagnoses and cancer deaths in Scotland’s most deprived communities is increasing.

The same ISD report for 2016 showed cancer incidence rates were 27 per cent higher in the most deprived communities, compared to the 36 per cent reported today. The deprivation gap in mortality rates has also grown, up to 76 per cent higher in deprived areas compared to 67 per cent reported in 2016.

Gordon McLean, of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “The picture in deprived areas continues to be incredibly concerning.

“It is simply not right that those in the most deprived areas of Scotland are most likely to get cancer and most likely to die of it.”

Lung cancer was the most common cause of death from cancer in Scotland and mortality rates for lung cancer were three times higher in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived.

Labour's health spokesperson, Monica Lennon said the figures showed the need to tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland, as well as invest in NHS services.

“Many people are surviving and living well after cancer thanks to advances in treatment and our dedicated NHS staff, however, if you are poor you are increasingly more likely to get cancer and die and these new statistics sadly prove that SNP ministers have failed to make Scotland a healthier or more equal country."

“These figures show the urgent need to end austerity and instead invest in communities with the goal of eradicating poverty and inequality."

However, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said she was 'encouraged' by the 'overall' drop in cancer mortality rates over the past 10 years.

She added: “In particular I welcome the decrease in the breast cancer mortality rate, which has gone down by 17.2% for women in the last decade.

“Our £42 million Detect Cancer Early Programme demonstrates our commitment to early detection – aiming to increase the proportion of Scotland’s most common cancers (breast, bowel and lung cancers) detected at an early stage.”

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