This report presents trends in ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities in the incidence of 28 cancers over a quarter of a century (1981–2004). It is the first report to document these inequalities in a comprehensive, consistent and reliable way.
The report finds wide and generally increasing ethnic (and, to a lesser extent, socioeconomic) inequalities in tobacco-related cancer incidence. Inequalities in non-tobacco-related cancer incidence were smaller and trends varied. Of particular note is the steep reduction in ethnic inequalities in cervical cancer incidence, at least partly the result of improving uptake of screening among Maori and Pacific women. Ethnic inequalities in colorectal cancer incidence are also narrowing – but this results from increasing rates among Maori and Pacific ethnic groups (who previously experienced very low incidence).