Women in the most deprived parts of Ireland are 33% more likely to die from breast cancer, according to the Irish Cancer Society.

The society is calling for Government action on what it calls the "breast cancer gap" which means that while fewer women from the most deprived areas get breast cancer than those in wealthier areas, they are 33% more likely to die from it.

The figures come from a recent study by National Cancer Registry Ireland researchers.

One of the main reasons for this survival gap is that women living in the most deprived areas are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer much later and, as a result, have a lower chance of surviving it.

The NCRI study also showed that women who were diagnosed because they had symptoms of breast cancer had a poorer chance of survival compared to those whose cancers were found by BreastCheck.

The Irish Cancer Society's Kathleen O'Meara said: "The stark truth is that the most deprived women in society are significantly more likely to die of breast cancer than the most affluent."

"Despite the strides made in diagnosis, treatment and improvements in outcomes in the last few decades, Ireland has become a very unequal society when it comes to health problems, particularly cancer and access to healthcare.

"We know from our research and work in disadvantaged communities that these communities are in general less aware of the symptoms of cancer, can have difficulty seeing a GP and often wait longer before being seen with symptoms," Ms O'Meara added.