Cervical cancer linked to deprivation

Cervical Cancer

The cancer of cervix or cervical cancer is a leading form of cancer which has been constantly rising in the women of UK during the past years. According to a journal published in BMC Public Health, it is stated that the rate of cervical cancer varies depending upon the geographical locations in southeast England. The studies also linked the cervical cancer to the deprivation as it is seen that this type of cancer commonly affects the women living in the most deprived areas of the country. The National Cancer Intelligence Network has found that the diagnosis level of cervical cancer is two times high in more deprived areas as compared to their affluent counterparts.

Some studies stated that between the year 2000 and 2004, there were 12 women per 100,000 diagnosed with cervical cancer in the most deprived areas of UK and only 6 per 100,000 women were diagnosed there in the most affluent areas in the country. The survey includes the deprived areas of Newcastle and Liverpool and the affluent areas of Surrey and the south coast. The major reason behind these statics is believed to be the lower uptake of cervical screening in these areas. Professor David Forman concludes that, “Our figures suggest that women living in poorer areas are less likely to attend cervical screening than women who are better off, so they are more likely to develop the disease. Besides this, some other factors such as higher rates of smoking and earlier onset of sexual activity might also contribute to raised cervical cancer rates in deprived areas”.

It is concluded that screening plays an important role in the diagnosis of changing in cells before the developing of cervical cancer in women. Hence, the women aging between 25 and 65 were invited for cervical screening in the deprived areas of England but unfortunately more than 40% of those women did not attend it. Professor Julietta Patnick said, “In recent years there had been a downward trend in women taking up cervical screening invitations, especially among younger women and those in deprived inner city areas. It saves around 1500 lives a year and it is important for women to consider this when deciding whether or not to accept their invitation”.

Sara Hiom, the director of health information at Cancer Research UK is worried about the fact that the income and living areas can lead to the risk of cancer among the women. He also admitted that more efficient steps should be taken to encourage the women from most deprived areas to attend the cervical screenings in order to lower the risk of developing the disease in them.

Several reports have concluded that in most of the cases, cervical cancer is caused due to HPV, a sexually transmitted virus and smoking habits contribute to the production of this virus causing cancer. Thus, proper awareness about the importance of cervical screening and the ill-effects of smoking is the key factor to lower the risk of cervical cancer in women living in the most deprived areas of England.