Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Social Class Dictates Cancer Risk

Date:
September 26, 2008
Source:
BMC Cancer
Summary:
Cervical and lung cancer are more common in poor people while rates of breast cancer and melanoma are higher in the wealthy. A detailed analysis of the incidence of these four different kinds of cancer, carried out on more than 300,000 English cancer patients and published in BMC Cancer, describes the effects of socioeconomic group, region and age.

Cervical and lung cancer are more common in poor people while rates of breast cancer and melanoma are higher in the wealthy. A detailed analysis of the incidence of these four different kinds of cancer, carried out on more than 300,000 English cancer patients describes the effects of socioeconomic group, region and age.

Lorraine Shack at the North West Cancer Intelligence Service and a team of researchers working on behalf of the United Kingdom Association of Cancer Registries used information from all eight English cancer registries from 1998 to 2003. They compared the rates of these four cancers with variations in deprivation. The data were further categorised by the person's age.

As Shack describes, "We looked at all invasive cases of lung cancer, cervical cancer, malignant melanoma of the skin and female breast cancer. The deprivation statistics were based on average levels of socioeconomic status in the patient's local area."

Malignant melanoma and breast cancer were most common in more affluent groups. According to the authors, the variations in breast cancer rates may be because "Women from affluent socioeconomic groups are more likely to have their first child at a later age, have fewer children in their lifetime and take hormone replacement therapy. Each of these factors is associated with a slightly higher incidence of breast cancer."

The higher incidence of melanoma in the more wealthy groups may be partially explained by holidays abroad and the resulting exposure to UV. However, the authors highlight that sun bed use may have an impact across all socioeconomic groups, particularly in the young, "It is difficult to estimate sun bed use as most salons are private and poorly regulated. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that sun bed use is increasing in England, particularly for teenagers and young adults. Sun parlours tend to be clustered in areas of deprivation."

The study also found that the highest rates of lung and cervical cancer occurred in the most deprived groups. The higher incidence of lung cancer in the deprived groups is squarely blamed on smoking, "Smoking is strongly associated with socioeconomic status and over 80% of lung cancer cases can be estimated to be attributable to smoking."

Worryingly, the authors found the greatest difference in lung cancer rates between socioeconomic groups in people under the age of 65, possibly suggesting that the more deprived groups continue to smoke while the wealthier groups have quit smoking.

The study provides further evidence of the link between wealth and cancer risk. Research such as this has a crucial role to play in tailoring government screening programmes, and other preventative measures, to local needs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMC Cancer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lorraine Shack, Catrina Jordan, Catherine S Thomson, Vivian Mak and Henrik Moller. Variation in incidence of breast, lung and cervical cancer and malignant melanoma of skin by socioeconomic group in England. BMC Cancer, (in press)

Cite This Page:

BMC Cancer. "Social Class Dictates Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080925214831.htm>.
BMC Cancer. (2008, September 26). Social Class Dictates Cancer Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080925214831.htm
BMC Cancer. "Social Class Dictates Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080925214831.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins