Rich men are more likely to be given curative prostate cancer treatment than those from poorer backgrounds, research has found.
Scientists at Cambridge University said that people from deprived areas were 52% less likely to undergo surgery than their well-to-do counterparts.
Diagnosis is also better in affluent parts of the country, the British Medical Journal study claimed, with prostate cancer being 20%-40% more likely to get picked up in wealthy areas.
The authors suggested the disparities could be explained by social factors, such as improved availability of information for richer men and a greater willingness to undergo testing.
Commenting on the study, experts Dr Kari Tikkinen, from Helsinki University Central Hospital, and Professor Anssi Auvinen, from the University of Tampere, said: “Better educated patients may process information more easily and doctor-patient communication may be more effective or fluent when doctor and patient have similar social backgrounds.”
Around 35,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. The disease kills 10,000 of this group.