DEATH rates for cancer are 61 per cent higher in the most-deprived parts of Scotland than the national average, new figures show.

Official statistics also reveal the poorest parts of the country have cancer incidence rates that are 27 per cent higher than the most affluent areas.

Cancers that are associated with smoking “tend to be strongly correlated with deprivation”, the NHS report said.

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For cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lung, incidence and death rates are three times higher in the most deprived areas compared with the wealthiest.

The figures show that in 2016 a total of 15,814 people died from cancer in Scotland, with lung cancer the most common cause of death, accounting for a quarter of fatalities.

Over the decade to 2016, the lung cancer death rate for men has dropped 23per cent compared to six per cent for women, reflecting “historical trends in the prevalence of smoking”.

The death rate for all cancers combined has dropped by 11 per cent over the same period, with a greater decrease for men (13 per cent) than for women (seven per cent).

The mortality rate for liver cancer has increased by 55 per cent with the main risk factors identified as excess alcohol consumption and infection with hepatitis B and C.

Trisha Hatt, from Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “While it’s good news fewer people are dying from cancer, we must remember that many thousands of people will die from the illness every year.”