Socio-economic inequalities in cancer incidence and in cancer survival. How do they add-up?

Research project: PhD Joachim Gotink

Joachim Gotnik

Socio-economic inequalities in cancer incidence and in cancer survival. How do they add-up? Analysis of site-specific cancer differences by socio-economic characteristics at the beginning of the 21st century in Belgium.

2018 – 2023 | FWO


There is consistent evidence of a negative association between socioeconomic (SE) position and nearly all indicators of morbidity and mortality. Yet, for cancer, the picture is less homogeneous. International studies observed a positive, a negative or no association at all between cancer and SE position, depending on the cancer site and the cancer indicator being investigated. Few studies have investigated the synergies between the three key measures of cancer burden – cancer incidence, cancer mortality and cancer survival. Their joint treatment is however much more informative than the use of any measure in isolation. This point has been recognized for a long time, but it has often seemed lost from view. Therefore, the main aim of this project is to study SE inequalities in sitespecific cancer mortality alongside SE inequalities in site-specific cancer incidence and survival in Belgium during the 2000s-2010s. Data will be derived from record linkage between the 1991/2001/2011 censuses, emigration and mortality data during 1991-2014 and cancer data from the Belgian Cancer Registry. These data are quite unique; only Nordic countries dispose of equally comprehensive data on a nationwide scale. The project will ‘decompose’ inequalities in cancer mortality and investigate how inequalities in cancer incidence and in cancer survival add up. In addition, data on stage of the cancer at diagnosis and patient’s cancer history will allow controlling for intermediate mechanisms at stake.