According to a recent study, certain cancers are more concentrated in areas with high poverty, while other cancers arise more often in wealthy regions.

Certain cancers like Kaposi sarcoma and cancers of the larynx, cervix, penis, and liver, were more likely in the poorest neighbourhoods, while other cancers – melanoma, thyroid, other non-epithelial skin and testis, were more likely in the wealthiest neighbourhoods, the findings showed.

However, areas with higher poverty had lower cancer incidence and higher mortality than areas with lower poverty.

“At first glance, the effects seem to cancel one another out. But the cancers more associated with poverty have lower incidence and higher mortality, and those associated with wealth have higher incidence and lower mortality,” said Francis Boscoe of the New York State Cancer Registry in the US.

The investigators assigned nearly three million tumours diagnosed between 2005 and 2009 from 16 states plus Los Angeles (an area covering 42 percent of the US population) into one of four groupings based on the poverty rate of the residential census tract at time of diagnosis.

“When it comes to cancer, the poor are more likely to die of the disease while the affluent are more likely to die with the disease,” Boscoe added.

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