PEOPLE in Cheshire are 26 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with oesophageal cancer than those living elsewhere in the UK.

A new study published by the North West Cancer Research charity shows that oesophageal is the county’s most common cancer – with liver cancer also 24 per cent more common here than the national average.

Analysts assessed the impact of 25 key cancers across the north west, with the region over-indexing on 14 cancers – demonstrating how those living across the region were more at risk of developing the disease.

The top three most common cancers were of the liver, lung and oesophagus, and the charity has pledged to break the existing cancer patterns across the region through vital, life-saving research.

Alastair Richards, North West Cancer Research CEO, said: “Our priority has always been to focus on what our region needs when it comes to tackling cancer and this data study validates our cause, highlighting a strong, somewhat alarming, pattern in incidence rates.

“There are clear differences in the number of people being diagnosed with certain cancers when compared to national averages and we’re extremely passionate about changing this through research projects and awareness campaigns.

“We strongly believe that a person’s chances of developing cancer should have little to nothing to do with where they live, therefore we’re committed to breaking such patterns in the north west.”

Among the collated data, people living in Cheshire experienced relatively high levels of lung, trachea and bronchus cancers compared to the rest of England, with a 16 per cent higher incidence rate.

Incidences of bladder cancer in the county are 13 per cent higher than the national average, and stomach cancer 7 per cent higher.

Across the north west, bladder cancer was recorded as an area of concern, with communities in the region showing a rate 13 per cent higher than average.

The data also showed Cheshire as having a third of its population aged over 55, with nine per cent over 75.

It has the highest proportion of people employed in managerial, administrative, and professional occupations of the north west counties, matched with the lowest percentage (24 per cent) of people who are unemployed, or in semi or unskilled manual labour roles.