Women with breast cancer in deprived areas have 33pc higher mortality rate
Women in deprived areas, who are diagnosed with breast cancer, have a 33pc higher rate of mortality than those from more affluent backgrounds, mostly because it is picked up at a later stage.
The Irish Cancer Society yesterday called on the Government to take action to end this "breast cancer gap".
It pointed to a recent study by the National Cancer Control Registry of Ireland which highlighted the mortality gap, despite fewer women from poorer areas developing the disease.
Dr Janice Walshe, medical oncologist at Tallaght Hospital said: "The NCRI report suggests that patients with lowest socioeconomic status tend to present with more advanced breast cancer, sometimes with more aggressive tumour biology and are less likely to access radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
"Unfortunately, the net result of these observations is a greater likelihood of death from breast cancer. The solution to this disparity is complex. Similar trends were seen in countries where universal health care is offered".