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Ageism "affecting cancer services"

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley has hit out at the "ageism" which means some parts of the country spend less on cancer treatment than others.

He said that Tory analysis of government figures reveals there are variations in the amount of money spent by different Primary Care Trusts (PCTs).

The Conservative figures show that each cancer sufferer in Oxfordshire is allocated the equivalent of £5,182 a year, but patients in Nottingham receive £17,028.

And he said that across England, the average spend per cancer patient is £8,437.

Mr Lansley told BBC1's The Politics Show that while higher levels of funding are allocated to deprived areas, the distribution does not take into account the amount of elderly people in an area.

He said: "The largest single thing that leads to cancer is that we get older.

"So you have got places all across the country which are relatively elderly, where the amount of money being allocated by the government is relatively limited and they can't afford to provide services.

"So there's a kind of ageism in this, a desperate ageism."

Mr Lansley added: "We have got a very skewed, ineffective cancer service here.

"We have got too limited preventative work, health inequalities are actually widening and yet we have got a skewed system where the elderly, who are suffering from cancer, don't find the services available to them."

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