New Statistics Reveal Increase in Preventable Cancer Death in Women Living in Hull

07 November 2016

NEW statistics revealed by Yorkshire Cancer Research show that Hull is the only area in Yorkshire where more women are now dying from cancer due to preventable causes.

The figures, published by Public Health England, show that the number of preventable deaths from cancer in Kingston Upon Hull unitary authority has increased from 105 deaths per 100,000 women during 2001-2003 to 116 deaths per 100,000 women during 2013-15 1. This is the highest rate of preventable deaths from cancer in Yorkshire. 

The charity believes this may be partly due to high levels of smoking in the area, which has led to a huge increase in the number of women being diagnosed with and dying from lung cancer 2

There were 121 cases of lung cancer diagnosed per 100,000 women in NHS Hull CCG during 2014, compared to 65 in England and 81 in Yorkshire2.

Hull has the highest smoking rate in Yorkshire, with 26.8% of the population recorded as being smokers. The average smoking rate for Yorkshire is 18.6% and the national average is 16.9%. 3

Survival rates for lung cancer are particularly poor, with just 10% of patients surviving for five years after diagnosis.

Preventable deaths from cancer in women in other areas of Yorkshire have decreased significantly since 2001. In Kirklees, preventable deaths have decreased from 103 per 100,000 women to 76 deaths per 100,000 women, a difference of 27 deaths per 100,000 women. 1

Charles Rowett, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “These statistics show an extremely worrying trend in Hull. Cancer outcomes are strongly linked to deprivation. Areas with a high level of deprivation tend to have higher levels of engagement with risk factors for cancer, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, and poor knowledge and awareness of symptoms. 

“Hull has the highest level of deprivation in Yorkshire, and it is vital that more is done to tackle these issues through community health initiatives and awareness programmes. There is a need for the continuation of and further investment in smoking cessation services by local councils and the NHS.”

Yorkshire Cancer Research is currently funding a five-year investigation into inequalities faced by cancer patients in the Hull area, led by Una Macleod, a Hull GP and Professor of Primary Care Medicine at the Hull York Medical School. 



1.    Public Health England, Public Health Outcomes Framework, 
2.    CancerData, Incidence,
3.    Public Health England, Health Profiles, 


Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email:

Notes to Editors

  • Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
  • We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
  • Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
  • Current statistics show that 575 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
  • We aim to:
    • Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
    • Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
    • Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
    • Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
    • Campaign for fair and equal access to the very best healthcare services and a greater share of the money spent nationally on research.
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