Charity warns over cancer postcode lottery

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People living in north Leeds have among the best 12-month survival rates after being diagnosed with cancer in England, a charity says today.

But Macmillan Cancer Support is warning 6,000 more people could survive at least a year after diagnosis if a postcode of lottery of care was eliminated.

It said the proportion of people dying within a year of being told they have the illness is 61 per cent higher in the worst performing area than the best in England.

The charity calculates 6,000 more people could survive if the average survival rate matched the top 10 per cent of performers in the country.

It said north Leeds had among the best performance in one year survival with 29 per cent of patients dying within a year.

In west Leeds, 31 per cent of patients died within a year, rising to 33 per cent in south and east Leeds and Wakefield and 34 per cent in North Kirklees.

The best performer in England was North East Hampshire and Farnham with only 24 per cent dying within 12 months.

Six areas in the country in parts of Essex, Kent, Sussex, London, and Cheshire had the worst performance in the country, with 38 per cent of patients dying within a year.

The charity said the “alarming” postcode lottery of cancer survival could be explained by how quickly patients are being diagnosed and treated.

Fay Scullion, general manager for the East Midlands and Northern England at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “This analysis shows an unacceptable postcode lottery.

“Your chances of surviving cancer should not depend simply on where you live.

“When patients have to wait longer for diagnosis and treatment those chances are significantly reduced.

“All the Westminster political parties must make cancer a top health priority ahead of the General Election and commit to reducing the number of people who are diagnosed late.”

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