Cancer survival rates show stark reality of north-south divide

 

Stark regional differences of cancer mortality and incidence rates are revealed for the first time today by a leading charity, resulting in calls for more to be done to address health inequality in Britain.

Cancer Research UK has drawn up a comprehensive breakdown of cancer statistics that can be searched geographically by postcode, healthcare area or local authority.

The data shows sharp regional variations in cancer survival and mortality rates across the UK, with London and the South coming out best and the North performing worst.

Those living in affluent London boroughs like Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster are the least likely to contract or die from cancer in the country, whereas cities in the North such as Liverpool and Manchester show the highest prevalence – and death rate – of the disease.

Cancer Research UK said the data starkly illustrates the north-south divide and the need for local health chiefs in some of the worst performing areas to do more to tackle the causes of cancer such as smoking, drinking and lack of exercise.

Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis and patient engagement at Cancer Research told The Independent there were “stark differences”.

“There has been plenty in the news over the years about north-south divide and a lot of factors will play into that. Incidences are very often a reflection of lives that have been led: deprivation, high smoking rates, high alcohol rates, low exercise – all the things that we know contribute to increased cancer risk,” she said.

“If you get well-established communities that are either incredibly well-off or deprived, the chances are you are going to get higher cancer incidences in the more deprived areas, and [the] converse.”

According to the most recent data provided by the Kensington and Chelsea Primary Care Trust and cited by the charity, 295.9 people out of 100,000 developed cancer.

That figure is well down on the national average of 398.1 per 100,000, but even further below the highest incidence rate of 498.4 out of 100,000 at the Liverpool Primary Care Trust.

Cancer mortality rates show a similar trend. The lowest rate of 123.9 deaths per 100,000 is recorded by the Kensington and Chelsea PCT, with Liverpool PCT registering the highest number of deaths in the country at 239.9.

Again, Kensington and Chelsea and prosperous areas of south England such as Devon and Surrey have the lowest instances of lung cancer, whereas Liverpool and Manchester have the highest.

“It has been known for hundreds of years that much of health inequality relates to relative wealth,” said Paul Moss, head of the Birmingham Cancer Research UK Centre.

But he warned that the data could prompt finger-pointing at health authorities.

“A problem could arise if people see that there are more cases of lung cancer in cities such as Liverpool or Manchester and then assume that it’s because the doctors and the health service are not good enough there, whereas in reality it is likely to reflect patterns of lifestyle.”

Ms Hiom said the data would raise awareness about regional cancer rates and the need for more preventative initiatives at a time when services like smoking cessation could be under threat from the huge reorganisation of the NHS.

Much of public health is being broken up and put into the hands of local authorities, now increasingly responsible for a range of services such as smoking cessation and schemes aimed at tackling alcohol and drug abuse.

“These figures will hopefully make MPs and health policy and decision-makers sit up and take notice,” she said.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

    Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

    SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

    £1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

    Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

    £32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam