The wealthy among the population have different cancers than those with fewer financial resources, a new report has suggested. While, broadly speaking, the study in the journal Cancer shows that cancer as a whole transcends socioeconomic status, when the researchers looked more closely at specific cancers, they began to see numerous differences.
It correlates with other studies that have shown minorities and other low-income individuals are prone to specific illnesses based on where they live. More minorities and poor people live closer to main highways, landfills and other pollutant-ridden areas, which could be a major cause of lung cancer and other health illnesses.
The sudy found that specific types of cancer were found to be much more common among those in higher-poverty areas of the country when compared with those in low-poverty areas who had more financial resources.
The researchers looked at some 3 million tumors reported across 16 states and the Los Angeles metro area between 2005 and 2009 in completing their study.
"The cancers more associated with poverty have lower incidence and higher mortality, and those associated with wealth have higher incidence and lower mortality," study researcher Francis Boscoe, Ph.D., of the New York State Cancer Registry, said in a statement. "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."
On top of that, and not surprising to the authors of the study, was the fact that those living in low-income areas were more prone to die from cancer as they did not have the resources to remove themselves from their situation or receive adequate health care services as compared with their wealthier counterparts.
In low-income, high-poverty areas, diseases such as laryngeal, cervical, liver and penile cancer were dramatically higher than in those living outside these zones. At the same time, in high-income areas of the country, melanoma, testicular and thyroid cancer were more common.
The researchers said that more effort was needed to better understand the data as a means of assisting those who need help in order to avoid a cancer epidemic that is beginning to take hold in the country. Low income was also linked to obesity, which is a precursor to diabetes and other illnesses and makes certain people more susceptible to cancers.
This is not good news for a country that continues to see its wealth gap widen dramatically in recent years.