National cervical, breast, and bowel cancer screening programs work to detect cancer or precursors of cancer as early as possible. A new Cancer Foundation report “Separate Screening” shows that social and economic factors influence who participates in the programs, and therefore who receives the right treatment at the right time.
People with low level of education and low income participate in the programs to a lesser degree than people with high level of education and income. Where to stay also affects. Bromma outside of Stockholm had a higher participation than Skärholmen, and Örgryte’s participation in Gothenburg was higher than that of Bergsjön. If all municipalities had the same participation as those with the highest participation, 194 lives could have been saved each year, according to the Cancer Foundation’s calculations.
Significant differences can also be seen at the regional level. Dalarna had the country’s highest participation rate in cervical cancer screening in 2019, at 86%. Vastmanland’s share was the lowest, at 52 percent.
It is completely unacceptable that we still have large differences between regions. All regional politicians, regardless of color, should work systematically to reach out to people who are not currently on the show. And it must happen now, because every day we wait means immense human suffering, says Cancer Foundation Secretary General Ulrika rehed Kågström in a press release.
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