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28-01-2013 | General practice | Article

Men hit hardest by cancer burden


Cancer Research UK - Excess Cancer Burden in Men 2013

medwireNews: Men in the UK are 14% more likely to receive a cancer diagnosis and 37% more likely to die from cancer than women, according to a new report.

Excess Cancer Burden in Men, published by Cancer Research UK, found that the cancer mortality rate in 2010 for men was 201.6 per 100,000, compared with 146.8 per 100,000 women.

Excluding breast and gender-specific cancers, the increased risk of cancer death among men was even greater, at 67%.

Authors Professor Alan White (Leeds Metropolitan University) and colleagues say the reasons men are more prone to cancer than women are not fully understood, but could relate to hormonal differences, social inequality and lifestyle.

"Taking a more proactive approach to the prevention of cancer in men will also be an important step in meeting the first objective of the new NHS Mandate, which is to prevent premature death," they add.

The Department of Health's Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2011/12 showed that women diagnosed with cancer were more likely than men to have received a referral from their GP after only one or two appointments.

Drawing attention to these figures, Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support responded to the new report by calling on GPs to do more to improve early diagnosis.

"It is alarming that there is such a stark difference in cancer death rates between men and women in the UK," he said, adding: "Alongside prevention, we need to get much better at diagnosing cancer in men much earlier to improve their chances of survival."

medwireNews is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Kirsty Oswald