Studying economic impact on cancer survival,a study says negligence, unemployment and healthcare cuts from 2008 to 2010 caused additional cancer-related deaths. It finds 260,000 deaths in the 34-memberOrganisation for Economic Cooperation and Development,160,000 in the European Union, and 18,000 in the US.

The researchers of this studylooked at the connections between unemployment, public healthcare facilities, public health, and cancer mortality in over 70 countries from 1990 to 2010. The most interesting fact was that countries with universal healthcare were not affected.

The researchers were fromHarvard University, Oxford University, Imperial College London and King’s College London. Data was accessed from the World Bank and World Health Organisation. Leader author Dr Mahiben Maruthappu of Imperial College London said, “Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide so understanding how economic changes affect cancer survival is crucial.”

The research team focussed oncolorectal, pancreatic and lung cancer, breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. While the found that the mortality rate of untreatable cancerswere not linked to unemployment, the mortality rate of treatable cancer was linked to changes.For every percentage point increase in unemployment, it was found that there were 0.37 additional deaths per 100,000 people.

Unemployment and the inability to afford medical services during the global financial crisis proved costly in terms of health. Further, government cuts on healthcare affected critizens. The researchers found a direct connection between public health expenditure and cancer deaths. When people are not employed, diagnosis is most of the time delayed, in turn delaying treatment.

This study—the first of its kind—has however helped government officials across the world understand how public healthcare systems function during economic crises. Further, it has raised awareness about the importance of government spending despite financial problems.

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