Belfast Telegraph

Men more likely to die from cancer

Men are more likely than women to die from all types of cancer, researchers have revealed.

A report for the Irish Cancer Society said that men's lifestyles are mainly to blame such as higher smoking rates, heavier drinking, poorer diets, less exercise and obesity. But the charity also warned that late diagnosis was also playing a part.

A study for the society found men have higher incidence rates of cancers including colorectal or bowel cancer, lung, bladder and stomach. In some cases three times as many men suffer these diseases.

The study found that melanoma of the skin has higher rates among women but that men are still more likely to die from it.

Dr Noel Richardson, director of the Carlow IT centre for men's health, said: "The publication of today's report gives a solid evidence base for what action needs to be taken by both policy makers and service providers so they can engage more effectively with all men, to improve health and well-being and to bring down the incidence of cancer and the number of men dying from cancer."

The cancer society commissioned the Centre for Men's Health at Carlow IT and the National Cancer Registry of Ireland to compile the report to mark Men's Health Week. It described the findings as a landmark report, the first of its kind to look at cancer incidence and mortality from a gender perspective in Ireland.

Among the key findings were that projections indicate that by 2035 the overall number of invasive cancers will increase by 213%, or 7% a year, for men compared with 165%, or 6% a year, for women.

It also found: Bowel cancer rates are 66.53 per 100,000 men compared with 41.4 in females. Men are also 1.8 times more likely to die from it; Men of all ages are 1.64 times more at risk of lung cancer, with the rate increasing to 1.8 times in those aged 65 and over. Men's risk of death is 16% higher than women; Men are three times more likely to get bladder cancer; And between 2006-08, skin cancer rates for women were as high as 17.32 per 100,000 compared with 15.95 for men, but men are 1.6 times more likely to die.

Overall death rates in men ranged from 1.6 times to 2.7 times the rate for women.

Killian Byrne, marathon runner and former participant on RTE's Operation Transformation, said: "Many younger men may take good health for granted. They may not notice that they have become less active or put on weight until their health becomes a concern. It's important that we realise that we are not invincible. Looking after your health is not a sign of weakness but a sign that you are in control. Time spent investing in your health now and making changes will pay dividends when you are older."

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