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Poorer English breast cancer survivors face a higher second risk of cancer

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Poorer English breast cancer survivors face a higher second risk of cancer

Breast cancer survivors are more likely to develop a second form of cancer if they live in the poorest parts of England.

a study of nearly 600,000 people also revealed that younger patients were at higher risk of developing cancer again after surviving breast cancer.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge delved into 25 years of medical records from England’s public health system and found that women living in the most deprived parts of England had a 35% higher risk of developing a second cancer than women who lived in the richest areas. .

They were much more likely to develop certain types of cancer, including lung cancer (166% higher), stomach cancer (78% higher) and kidney cancer (43% higher).

Women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50 also had a greater risk of developing a second cancer. They were 86% more likely to develop some form of the disease than the general female population, while those diagnosed over 50 were 17% more likely.

Scientists already knew that breast cancer survivors had an increased risk of developing another primary cancer in the future. But this study sheds much more light on that risk.

It found that women who had survived breast cancer were 87% more likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who had never had the disease.

They were also 58% more likely to develop endometrial cancer, twice as likely to develop cancer in the unaffected breast and 25% more likely to develop ovarian cancer.

Men who survived breast cancer were more likely than the general male population to develop cancer, including prostate and thyroid cancer.

But the total number of men affected was relatively low. The cohort consisted of approximately 580,000 women and 3,500 men.

Study author Isaac Allen from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge said: “This is the largest ever study examining second cancers after breast cancer and the first to show that women diagnosed with breast cancer in deprived regions are more likely to getting a second form of cancer.”

The research is observational and so cannot determine why some people are more likely to develop a second form of cancer than others.

“Many cancers are caused by deprivation,” he added, “but more research is clearly needed to identify the specific factors driving the higher risks and how best to reduce these disparities.”

Oncologist and cancer campaigner Pat Price told the Guardian that “a specific cancer plan” was needed to tackle the health inequalities that appear to be increasing disease rates.

“Where someone comes from or their socioeconomic status should not determine their chances of developing or surviving cancer,” she says told the newspaper.

Health inequalities are a major concern in Britain, where the health gap between the richest and the poorest has widened in recent years.

Almost 15 years ago, a milestone report on the social factors that influence health, the government called for tackling inequality to boost public health.

But a follow-up report published ten years later showed that inequality had actually widenedwhere characteristics such as the gap in life expectancy between the richest and the poorest are increasing.

Covid-19, which disproportionately affected people in disadvantaged areas, has refocused public attention on the issue. A restructure of England’s health commissioners in 2022 was partly intended to achieve this aim help reduce health inequalities at local level.

But for now, the hardship continues to impact patients across the country. In addition to disease risk factors and outcomes, it also affects patients’ access to care – even in a country that offers free cancer treatments.

Earlier this month a Lancet report showed that many people with breast cancer found it difficult to pay for the “hidden costs” associated with their care.

Although public cancer treatment in Britain is free, patients often incur other costs, such as travel costs.

The Lancet Breast Cancer Commission found that around 20% of patients with early breast cancer and 25% with metastatic breast cancer found it difficult to cover travel costs.