Cervical cancer rates highest in deprived areas

Rates of cervical cancer are highest in the most deprived neighbourhoods, according to UK research.

The findings suggest that to minimise inequality in cervical cancer, public health interventions must target deprived areas.

The study analysed data on 2,231 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed between 2001 and 2005 in London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

The highest rates of cancer occurred within London in areas with high smoking prevalence and teenage pregnancy rates.

Lead researcher Dr Laura Currin, from King's College London, said: ‘Understanding the factors contributing to an increased incidence will allow future intervention programmes to more effectively target those who carry an increased risk for the disease.'

Commenting on the findings, Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary Norman Lamb said: ‘Labour's failure to tackle the divide between the richest and poorest in this country is their most dismal legacy.

‘It is completely unacceptable that there are more women suffering from cervical cancer simply because they live in a deprived area.'

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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