31 August 2020

People with a mental disability appear to be less likely to come to the hospital for oncological care than people without a mental disability. This is shown by large-scale research recently published by researchers from the Radboudumc in the international journal Cancer Medicine.

The researchers looked at data over four years. This shows that people without a mental disability were almost twice as likely to reach oncological care than people with a mental disability. The differences are particularly large in the case of skin cancer and cancers for which population screening exists,' says project leader Maarten Cuypers (photo). There is a danger that people with a mental disability may not receive optimal cancer treatment.

Possible causes

There may be a number of reasons why people with intellectual disabilities are less likely to come to hospital for oncological care. Maarten Cuypers: 'There may be under-diagnosis of cancer, other treatment choices after a cancer diagnosis has been made, or that certain types of cancer actually occur less frequently among people with intellectual disabilities. Further research into the cause(s) and how we can solve the inequalities found will be initiated'.

Read the publication about the research in Cancer Medicine

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