Skip to main content


Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 24 September 1997

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action his Department will be taking to address the differences in the incidence of cancers between the north and south of England. [16660]

There is no clear pattern in the overall incidence of cancers when comparing the north and south of England. Stomach, lung and cervical cancers are registered more frequently in the north of England than the south, but female breast cancer and malignant melanoma rates are lower in the north. Death rates from all cancers combined are higher in the north of England.Sir Donald Acheson, former Chief Medical Officer, is carrying out an independent inquiry into inequalities in health which will report next summer. His recommendations, together with responses to the forthcoming Green Paper on the new public health strategy, will be used to develop next year's White Paper which will aim to reduce geographical health inequalities such as these.The Government is also committed to implementation of the recommendations in the document "A Policy Framework for Commissioning Cancer Services" which sets out the need for high-quality cancer care wherever a patient may live.