Scottish figures expose deprivation role in cancer

In collaboration with the Press Association

Official figures have revealed that almost three times more people in Glasgow die of lung cancer than in other areas of the country.

Campaigners say that the figures have revealed how social deprivation impacts on cancer risks and survival rates.

Glasgow has a rate of lung cancer of 145 cases per 100,000 men, compared to 54 per 100,000 in Shetland.

Much of the disparities could be attributed to high levels of smoking in parts of Scotland said Phil Hanlon, professor of public health at Glasgow University.

"The poor performance of Scotland compared to the rest of the UK has, in the past, been driven by lung cancer and other smoking-related cancers," he said

Jenny Whelan, head of CancerBACUP Scotland, said that the figures indicated how poverty, poor general health and cancer are interrelated.

"We have to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and give people the information and support they need to be more proactive about their own health if we're going to see an end to the postcode lottery of cancer incidence and cancer care," she said.

The figures also revealed the disparities in hospital visits across the region, with Glasgow seeing 35 in-patient admissions per 100,000 people, compared to just 20 per 100,000 in Edinburgh last year.

Across Scotland, an average 453 adult males and 360 adult females per 100,000 developed cancer every year between 1998 and 2002.

This compares to an average 404 males and 340 females per 100,000 for the UK as a whole. The data was collated by the Scotsman from Scottish local authority health statistics.