30 Oct 2012
Cancer patients in Scotland’s most deprived areas are 76 per cent more likely to lose their battle with the disease than those in the wealthiest parts, figures today have shown.
ISD Scotland said while overall mortality rates for cancer had fallen over the last decade, massive inequalities still exist.
Cancer mortality rates in the most deprived areas are more than 250 per 100,000 people, while in the least deprived that falls to around 150 per 100,000.
The Scottish Conservatives also said with more than 15,000 people dying from cancer in Scotland last year, the Scottish Government should reconsider its rejection of a Cancer Drugs Fund, similar to the one which exists in England.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman and deputy leader Jackson Carlaw MSP said:
“The fact more people are surviving cancer is a tribute to the NHS workers and charities who have worked so hard to improve Scotland’s record over recent years.
“But there are still real problem in relation to deprivation.
“Cancer patients in Scotland’s most deprived zones are considerably less likely to survive their cancer than those in wealthier parts.
“That is an unfair statistic, and one we have to work harder to improve.
“Health messages in areas of deprivation are simply not getting through, and we have to understand why that is.
“While these figures today are to be welcomed, they don’t tell the full story.
“All over Scotland there are people whose lives could be dramatically improved, and indeed lengthened, by the creation of a Cancer Drugs Fund.
“This is in operation south of the border, but for some reason the SNP has repeatedly refused to bring this in.”
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