Poverty Linked to Some Cancers

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Incidence of Some Cancers Associated With Income
Incidence of Some Cancers Associated With Income

(HealthDay News) -- The risk for certain types of cancer seems to be linked to poverty or wealth, according to research published online May 27 in Cancer.

Francis P. Boscoe, PhD, of the New York State Cancer Registry in Albany, and colleagues analyzed data for almost three million tumors, diagnosed between 2005 and 2009, from 16 states plus Los Angeles. The researchers sought to assess the association between socioeconomic status and cancer incidence.

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The researchers found that, for all sites combined, the association between cancer incidence and poverty was negligible. 

For specific sites, a significant positive or negative association with poverty was found for 32 of 39 sites. The cancer sites most strongly associated with higher levels of poverty were Kaposi sarcoma, larynx, cervix, penis, and liver. 

The cancer sites most strongly associated with lower levels of poverty were melanoma, thyroid, other nonepithelial skin, and testis. Lower incidence and higher mortality were observed for cancer sites associated with higher poverty.

"These findings demonstrate the importance and relevance of including a measure of socioeconomic status in national cancer surveillance," the researchers wrote.

Reference

  1. Boscoe FP, Johnson CJ, Sherman RL et al. The relationship between area poverty rate and site-specific cancer incidence in the United States. Cancer. 2014;doi:10.1002/cncr.28632.

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