Bowel cancer patients living in the most deprived areas are 24% less likely to survive than more affluent patients, research suggests.
Scientists found that patients living in poorer areas are more likely to die within five years of treatment.
The study, which is to be presented at the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) conference in Birmingham, found that 9.6% of the most deprived patients died within 30 days of having surgery compared with 4.2% in the most affluent group.
The researchers, who looked at 4,300 patients who had surgery for bowel cancer, said this was partly because more patients from deprived areas were diagnosed with bowel cancer through emergency hospital attendance, with the disease at a later stage.
The poorer patients were also were also more likely to have other illnesses.
Raymond Oliphant, lead researcher and a clinical research fellow based at the University of Glasgow’s West of Scotland Cancer Surveillance Unit, said: “This research further highlights that survival following treatment for bowel cancer is better in people from the most affluent areas and worst among the most deprived.
“This study builds on previous research in this area by giving more detail on both short- and longer-term survival differences between patients from different economic backgrounds and will help those working on ways to improve outcomes for bowel cancer patients.”