Many countries have reported survival inequalities due to regional socioeconomic deprivation. To quantify the potential gain from eliminating cancer survival disadvantages associated with area-based deprivation in Germany, we calculated the number of avoidable excess deaths. We used population-based cancer registry data from 11 of 16 German federal states. Patients aged ≥ 15 years diagnosed with an invasive malignant tumor between 2008 and 2017 were included. Area-based socioeconomic deprivation was assessed using the quintiles of the German Index of Multiple Deprivation (GIMD) 2010 on a municipality level nationwide. Five-year age-standardized relative survival for 25 most common cancer sites and for total cancer were calculated using period analysis. Incidence and number of avoidable excess deaths in Germany in 2013-2016 were estimated. Summed over the 25 cancer sites, 4100 annual excess deaths (3.0% of all excess deaths) could have been avoided each year in Germany during the period 2013-2016 if relative survival were in all regions comparable with the least deprived regions. Colorectal, oral and pharynx, prostate, and bladder cancer contributed the largest numbers of avoidable excess deaths. Our results provide a good basis to estimate the potential of intervention programs for reducing socioeconomic inequalities in cancer burden in Germany.

Original languageEnglish
Article number357
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 02.01.2021

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)


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