People living in deprived areas of the East Midlands are two-and-a-half times more likely to get lung cancer than those in affluent areas, a report says.
Treatment of cancer has impoved, the study says
A study by Trent Cancer Registry and the East Midlands Public Health Observatory found wide variations with cancer survival rates in the region.
David Meechan, director of the East Midlands PHO, said higher rates of smoking were behind some findings.
Derbys, Leics, Northants, Notts and Lincs were covered in the report.
"We looked at data we have that examines incidence of cancer and deaths from cancer and where people live and the levels of deprivation in those areas," said Mr Meechan.
"There's good news and bad news.
"The good news is that generally people with cancer are surviving longer but there are large inequalities with incidence, survival and death rates in the East Midlands.
"For lung cancer, in the fifth most deprived areas, incidence of lung cancer and death rates are two-and-a-half times higher than in the most affluent fifth of areas.
"This is mainly due to high rates of smoking in deprived areas.
"It's well known fact that there are higher rates of smoking in poor areas and smoking accounts for 90% of all lung cancer cases.
"Reducing rates of smoking in deprived areas has got to be a target," said Mr Meechan.
David Walker, regional director of public health for the East Midlands, said: "Working with our local primary care trusts, we are ensuring that [these issues] are being addressed through the national programme requiring PCTs to target deprived areas with effective interventions."