That’s the conclusion of scientists who’ve investigated almost 3 million malignant tumors diagnosed in 16 states as well as the Los Angeles area – what they assert is the “most comprehensive assessment of the relationship between SES (socioeconomic status) and cancer incidence for the United States.” Overall, they found no correlation between how poor or rich you are and how likely you are to get cancer. But drilling down into the census tracts with higher poverty rates, they noticed a prevalence of cancers with low incidence and high mortality rates. Wealthier neighborhoods were marked by cancers of high incidence, but low mortality rates. As the lead researcher, Francis Boscoe at the New York State Cancer Registry, explains: “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.”
Out of 39 types of cancer, 14 showed a positive association with poverty, the researchers said in their study (which was partly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Poor neighborhoods were more likely to see cancers of the larynx, cervix, liver, and penis, as well as Kaposi sarcoma. They were also tied to an uptick in cancers related to tobacco use and human papillomavirus. Richer areas, meanwhile, suffered more from melanoma and other skin afflictions, and cancers of the thyroid and testes.
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