These days men die five years younger than women, typically expiring at 76 as women live to 81. For the longest time the leading reason was heart disease. But now things are changing. As todays’ Guarding reports:
“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.”