Macmillan Cancer Support figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal postcode lottery in chances of surviving cancer for people living in different parts of Surrey and London

The Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, Surrey

The Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, Surrey

First published in News Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

An 'inexcusable postcode lottery' has seen big differences in cancer surival rates, a cancer charity has said.

Figures publicised this week by charity Macmillan Cancer Support show 32 per cent of sufferers in Sutton die within a year, compared to 28 per cent of people living in Richmond.

Percentage of cancer sufferers who die within a year of being diagnosed, broken down into London boroughs (source ONS data 2011)

Sutton: 32 per cent

Croydon: 32 percent

Westminster: 27 per cent

Richmond: 28 per cent

Kingston: 31 per cent

Merton: 30 per cent

Surrey Downs: 29 per cent

Wandsworth: 31 per cent

Barking and Dagenham: 38 per cent

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) data for 2011 shows people living in neighbouring boroughs having NHS cancer treatment, have a different chance of surviving depending on where they live.

Twenty-nine per cent of people living in Epsom and other areas in the Surrey Downs will die in their first year, compared to 32 per cent of sufferers living in Croydon. 

The varying percentages up and down the country mean thousands of people are needlessly dying of the disease.

Macmillan Cancer Support state each year roughly 6,000 more people would still be alive, if average survival rates could meet those achieved by the top 10 per cent of the country’s 211 local CCG’s.

Thirty per cent of people in Merton die from cancer a year after diagnosis.

But for sufferers in Barking and Dagenham, 38 per cent die - 11 per cent more than the 27 per cent figure for Westminster in central London.

NHS waiting-time targets say someone diagnosed should get treatment within 62 days.

Macmillan point out that areas with the highest percentage of deaths each year have the lowest number of people getting support in time.

Juliet Bouverie, director of services and influencing at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "This analysis shows an inexcusable postcode lottery which is responsible for 6,000 people dying needlessly within 12 months of being diagnosed with cancer every year. 

"It is a no-brainer - when patients have to wait longer for diagnosis and treatment their chances of surviving are significantly reduced."

Have you been affected by cancer? Tell us your story by calling 020 8722 6358, or email tom.gillespie@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (3)

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7:39am Tue 19 Aug 14

ComeTogether says...

It's sad that in this day and age your chances of surviving this terrible illness can dependent on where you live.
It's sad that in this day and age your chances of surviving this terrible illness can dependent on where you live. ComeTogether
  • Score: 14

9:44am Tue 19 Aug 14

labyrinth says...

This is not remotely surprising. Visit Richmond, then visit Cheam in Sutton: in the former, 20 mph on all roads near schools, beautifully cared for main streets..in the latter, idiots belting down residential roads at 50 mph - especially past schools! Tells you a lot about how each borough is managed.

Oh - and don't forget, folks - pretty soon Sutton will bear the proud title "Sutton: the borough where all the other boroughs send their waste!" And that includes Richmond. Would anyone like to bet on the figures being even worse for Sutton, after the incinerator has been working for a couple of years?
This is not remotely surprising. Visit Richmond, then visit Cheam in Sutton: in the former, 20 mph on all roads near schools, beautifully cared for main streets..in the latter, idiots belting down residential roads at 50 mph - especially past schools! Tells you a lot about how each borough is managed. Oh - and don't forget, folks - pretty soon Sutton will bear the proud title "Sutton: the borough where all the other boroughs send their waste!" And that includes Richmond. Would anyone like to bet on the figures being even worse for Sutton, after the incinerator has been working for a couple of years? labyrinth
  • Score: -3

1:15pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Tony from Surbiton says...

The figures seem roughly about the same, although Barking is a little different. I dare say that all the figures will change slightly over time as figures tend to. Don't really see much of a story here to tell the truth. The number of people 'needlessly dying' is a bit false if relying on this 'postcode lottery' information, as surely increasing the amount of care in one place and reducing it in another will result in roughly the same number of deaths. If not, then perhaps this article can be expanded to explain why that would not be the case. I'm certainly not making light of cancer deaths, but it's easy to come up with half an argument and say we need to save more lives without explaining how or where the money is coming from.
The figures seem roughly about the same, although Barking is a little different. I dare say that all the figures will change slightly over time as figures tend to. Don't really see much of a story here to tell the truth. The number of people 'needlessly dying' is a bit false if relying on this 'postcode lottery' information, as surely increasing the amount of care in one place and reducing it in another will result in roughly the same number of deaths. If not, then perhaps this article can be expanded to explain why that would not be the case. I'm certainly not making light of cancer deaths, but it's easy to come up with half an argument and say we need to save more lives without explaining how or where the money is coming from. Tony from Surbiton
  • Score: 6

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