A new study has found that poor, middle-aged Australians are more likely to die from cancer than their wealthier peers – and the gap is widening.
The study, published in the journal Cancer, looked at data from over 1.7 million Australians diagnosed with cancer between 2000 and 2017. The researchers found that people from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to die from cancer at all ages, but the gap was particularly pronounced among middle-aged adults.
For example, the study found that people from the poorest socioeconomic quintile were 20% more likely to die from cancer than people from the richest quintile at age 40-49. The gap was even wider for people diagnosed with lung cancer, with those from the poorest quintile being 40% more likely to die than those from the richest quintile.
The researchers say that the findings are concerning, as they suggest that the cancer divide in Australia is getting worse. They say that this is likely due to a number of factors, including poorer access to healthcare, worse health behaviours, and higher stress levels among people from poorer backgrounds.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Rebecca Ivers, said that the findings “highlight the urgent need to address the cancer divide in Australia.” She said that “we need to make sure that everyone has access to the best possible cancer care, regardless of their income or social background.”
The study’s findings have been welcomed by cancer charities and health advocates. Cancer Council Australia said that the findings “paint a stark picture of the cancer divide in Australia.” They said that “it is clear that we need to do more to ensure that everyone has access to the best possible cancer care.”
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) said that the findings “are a wake-up call for the government.” They said that “we need to invest more in cancer prevention and early detection, and we need to make sure that everyone has access to quality cancer care.”
The study’s findings are a reminder that cancer is not just a disease of the wealthy. People from all walks of life are affected by cancer, but those from poorer backgrounds are more likely to die from the disease. This is a problem that needs to be addressed, and it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that everyone has access to the best possible cancer care.