Our policy on tackling cancer inequalities
Considerable inequalities in cancer incidence and outcomes still exist between different social groups in the UK.
These complex and often poorly understood differences require concerted government action to achieve equal outcomes for patients. In particular, action is needed to improve cancer outcomes for people over 75 to bring these in line with Northern European countries and the US.
Inequalities in cancer can relate to different areas such as genetics, information and awareness, lifestyle, screening and treatment. These factors, either individually or through interaction with each other, contribute to the different cancer incidence and outcomes experienced by different communities and groups.
We are calling on the Government to:
- Support the current review of data collection and encourage dissemination to inform research into inequalities and help local providers to tailor their services;
- Commission more high quality research into cancer inequalities;
- Support the local NHS to deliver high-quality support and awareness campaigns for diverse groups, ensuring appropriate patient information is provided according to cultural or social needs;
- Ensure that patients have equal access to the best cancer treatments.
Cancer Research UK has developed policy positions and specific calls for government on several of the areas involved in cancer inequalities. Click on the links to view the relevant policy statement
- Socioeconomic inequalities in cancer
- Health inequalities in cancer and Black and Minority Ethnic Communities
- Inequalities in cancer experienced by those with learning disabilities
- Rural Health inequalities
- Health inequalities in cancer and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) communities
Our inequalities goals
In 2007 Cancer Research UK launched ten goals to measure our success in beating cancer up to 2020. A number of these goals will have an impact upon cancer inequalities with one specifically addressing the issue:
- We will especially tackle cancer in low-income communities.
Our ambitious goal is that the differences in the risk of dying from cancer between the most affluent and the least affluent will be reduced by half by 2020.
In partnership with the National Cancer Intelligence Network, Cancer Research UK has published the following reports on how cancer affects different groups within the population:
Cancer Research UK has also published two reports on inequalities in cancer. The first introduces evidence of current inequalities in cancer, while the second discusses the key themes within government policy aimed at reducing health and cancer inequalities. Copies of these reports are available for download:
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team