Your Neighborhood Determines the Cancer You’ll Get

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Last Updated: May 30, 2014

A recent study shows that your risk of developing a certain type of cancer may depend on the affluence of your neighbourhood.

Specific types of cancers are more common in poorer neighbourhood, while other cancers are more prevalent in rich wealthy communities, according to scientists in a recent study published last Tuesday in the journal called Cancer.

To determine the poverty rate of the neighbourhood, the researchers utilized the census information from the US government. A neighbourhood is defined as a living area with around 4,000 people.

The neighbourhood identified are the 16 states including the Los Angeles County. 42 percent of the entire US population is from this area. The income status of the neighbourhoods was based on how many households live below the poverty level in each area.

The most prevalent cancer in the wealthier parts of the country includes cervical, breast, melanoma, and thyroid.

Meanwhile, in the poorer neighbourhood, the more prevalent cancers are those that are triggered by certain behaviours. These types are cancers of the cervix and the penis, which are associated to sexually transmitted diseases. People in poorer areas also suffer from larynx cancer, which is usually caused by drinking, HPV, or smoking. Another is liver cancer, which can be transmitted through needle sharing and caused by hepatitis and drinking. One more type is the Kaposi’s sarcoma. This is a kind of skin cancer that is acquired by people who has AIDS.

The frequency of cancer in poorer areas is relatively lower. However, these poorer areas have higher death rates from these cancers.

New York State Department of Health research scientist Francis P. Boscoe said there are more deaths due to cancer in poorer areas, because the people in wealthier neighbourhood have easier access to cancer screening technology that helps them detect the cancer on its earliest stage.

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