Poverty’s surprising impact on certain cancers

Lana Bandoim's picture
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A new study reveals that poverty has a surprising impact on the type of cancer people may get, and income is uniquely tied to health. The research, published in Cancer, shows that economic status plays an important part in cancer, and scientists have noticed a difference between the wealthy and poor.

Economic status affects cancer

The researchers focused on the types of cancers the poor and wealthy had in their study, and they discovered shocking results. People who were in the higher poverty areas were more likely to get 32 of the 39 cancers included in the study. In addition, the specific type of cancer they had varied greatly based on their economic status.

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People in the poverty bracket were more likely to get larynx and liver cancers. On the other hand, people in the wealthy bracket were more likely to get skin and thyroid cancers. Researchers hope to continue examining this difference in the future to discover why poverty is leading people to have different types of cancers.

Poverty affects health

Previous studies have shown the link between poverty and poor health, but the new research reveals how specific cancer types can be connected to economic status. Medical professionals have tried to explain the disparities by mentioning that people in lower economic brackets have a more difficult time accessing health services and are more likely to avoid getting help once symptoms appear.

One of the most common suggestions to help reduce cancer rates while improving general health is to increase education targeted at people in poor neighborhoods. Some experts believe that more information about nutrition, medicine and services will encourage people to seek help. In addition, a focus on better health that actually gives real help may be the key to dropping cancer rates.

Image: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

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