Emergency hospital visits more common among most deprived bowel cancer patients

Bowel cancer patients living in the most deprived areas have up to 13% higher proportions of emergency hospital admissions before a diagnosis than patients living in the least deprived areas, according to a study funded by Cancer Research UK.

The researchers, based at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and at UCL, analysed hospital admissions data for around 65,000 patients diagnosed with bowel cancer between 2011-2013 in the first study of its kind in the UK.

The research, published today in the British Journal of Cancer, reveals that among the 8,681 patients who died between three and 12 months after a diagnosis, around two thirds (5,809) had an emergency hospital visit before dying. This was around 5% higher among those from more deprived backgrounds.

Almost 4 in 10 (24,522) bowel cancer patients in the study overall had at least one emergency hospital visit in the three months before their diagnosis. But nearly half (46%) of the most deprived patients experienced this, compared to a third (33%) of the least deprived.

Dr Francisco Rubio, a lead author from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “We know that cancer patients from poorer areas are more likely


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