New research has shown that the cancer survival rate is better in Israelis who live in rich localities, as opposed to those who are living in the rest of the country.
An independent think tank by the name of The Taub Center for Social Policy Studies, assessed cancer statistics from all over Israel.
On Sunday, they published a report on some of the stark patterns they had discovered through this assessment.
Prof. Alex Weinreb, a researcher at Taub Center, revealed that almost 387 people die from cancer on average out of 100,000 people.
He said that high-income and middle-income areas have substantial differences. The number of deaths per 100,000 people in middle-income areas is 420 and the numbers are similar in low-income areas.
He added that as you move from low-income areas to high-income areas, the death rates continue to go down. Cancer deaths become rarer as the socioeconomic status improves.
Areas like Ramat Hasharon, Givatayim and Shoham fall in the top 10% of socioeconomic status and these areas have a cancer death rate of about 340 per 100,000 people.
This is about 12% lower than the national average and 20% lower as opposed to the cancer death rate in middle-income areas.
Some of the other locales that had the lowest number of cancer deaths included Ganei Tikva, Even Yehuda, Tel Mond, Modiin-Maccabim-Re’ut, Hod Hasharon and Kiryat Ono.
Weinreb stated that the results had surprised him, which they had obtained by analyzing data that is publicly available.
He said that while they had expected differences to exist between socioeconomic lines, they had not believed they would be so pronounced.
He added that it was not immediately clear as to why such a stark difference existed, but said that there could be two possible explanations for it.
First off, he said that it could be due to significant health inequalities due to which wealthier people have better access to healthcare and enjoy healthier lifestyles.
They are able to access private care and have knowledge of how to navigate the state health system. He said that such health inequalities always play a role.
Geographical factors were the second reason he highlighted for the difference in the cancer mortality rate.
The wealthiest locales in Israel are usually grouped together in the center of the country and they have the top medical facilities that can be easily accessed.
The range of facilities is limited in other areas, which means that people have to travel further for reaching clinics and hospitals.
Weinreb said that this difference could play an important role in early detection. Since more medical professionals exist in central Israel, it is easier to schedule appointments.
This improves the chances of an early diagnoses and puts patients in a better position to fight the disease.
Other people who worked on the report with Weinreb were Prof. Nadav Davidovitch and Nir Kaidar. The former said that they should investigate the findings further.
If they can understand them better, then action can be taken by health services for counteracting factors that increase the risk.