According to an article in the Guardian, men are 35% more likely to die from cancer than women, with men’s drinking and eating habits, late diagnosis and advances in breast cancer treatment cited for the stark differential.
An analysis of the most recent UK deaths from cancer found that 202 out of every 100,000 men died from cancer in 2010 compared with 147 per 100,000 women.
When sex-specific forms of the disease are excluded, such as prostate, testicular and ovarian cancer, the gender gap is even wider, with men 67% more likely to die. And when only working age people are looked at men under 65 have a 58% greater chance of dying than women of the same age.
The sexes’ respective likelihood of death varies depending on the type of cancer. Men are almost three times as likely as women to die of oesophageal cancer and almost twice as likely to die from liver cancer.
The figures come from a new report produced by Cancer Research UK (CRUK), the Men’s Health Forum (MHF) and the National Cancer Intelligence Network, called “Excess cancer burden in men”, which is published on Tuesday at an MHF conference. It has prompted calls for men to adopt healthier lifestyles and the NHS to do more to spot cancer in men earlier.
There are a variety of potential explanations for the difference. “The reasons for the increased risk of cancer in men versus women are not completely understood but experts believe that lifestyle is important. Men are more likely to drink alcohol and be overweight, and in the past they were more likely to smoke. All three are significant risk factors for a range of cancer types,” said a separate men’s cancer briefing, produced by CRUK and also released on Tuesday.
Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said the stark difference was alarming. He highlighted late diagnosis as a key factor and cited the fact that 24% of men with prostate cancer visited their GP at least three times before their disease was identified, compared with 8% of women with breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Experience Survey.
In 2011 CRUK estimated that 45% of all cancers in men could be prevented if men stopped smoking, ate a healthier diet, drank less and weighed less.
In 2010 163,904 men and 160,675 women were diagnosed with cancer. CRUK highlighted the fact that more men than women are diagnosed with forms of cancer that are harder to treat and so more likely to result in death, such as bladder, liver and oesophageal cancer.
The reasons why men seem more prone to both develop and die from cancer are complex and are only beginning to be understood. Part of it may be explained by the biological differences between men and women. But there are many other reasons that could be playing a role, particularly past differences in smoking behaviour between the sexes, said Hazel Nunn, CRUK’s head of health information.
The fact that breast cancer has higher survival rates than the commonest cancers in men also helps explain the gap, CRUK said. The latest UK data shows that around four in 10 men (39%) now survive cancer for at least 10 years compared with around five in 10 women.Despite improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of certain forms of cancer the sex differential in cancer death has only narrowed slightly in recent years. When the three organisations last looked at the same divide in 2009 men were 40% more likely than women to die as a result of cancer.
2013 Miles In 2013 – Please Sponsor Me
So after completing a year without all alcohol in 2012 for Cancer Research UK and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust I am now attempting to complete 2013 self powered miles by the end of 2013.
I am doing this challenge in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.
The first person to commit to sponsoring my 2013 mile challenge has committed to 1p per mile (£20.13 in total) and this got me thinking. I am hoping that as many as possible of those reading this will commit to do the same and the best thing is, if each person does this on a “pay as you go” type approach all you will need to part with is approx £2 just after each pay day. In January I completed205.9 miles, so if you can please spare £2.06 to help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it will be greatly appreciated.
The easiest way to give your sponsorship is to visit my Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/2012-AYearWithoutBeer-CF.
2013 Miles in 2013 – The rules
The rules for my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge are quite simple:
- All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
- I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment
To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.