Men are 35% more likely to die from cancer than women according to a report released today (29 January 2013) by Cancer Research UK.
The report presented at the Men’s Health Forum (MHF) conference in London showed that men under 65 were twice as likely to die from non sex-specific cancers.
“Our report highlights just how big a problem cancer is and the need to understand why men are more likely to die from cancer,” said Professor Alan White, co-author of the study.
Professor White, chairman of male health charity MHF, added: “It’s crucial that the NHS leads the way in taking a more proactive approach to prevent men from dying from cancer prematurely.”
Studies have shown that men often see their GP more than twice before being referred to hospital.
Ciarán Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We need to get much better at diagnosing cancer in men much earlier to improve their chances of survival.”
“It is alarming that there is such a stark difference in cancer death rates between men and women in the UK.”
Previous research has shown that more than 40% of cancers in men could be prevented by lifestyle changes.
A second report released by Cancer Research UK showed that smoking is responsible for 36,500 cancers in men per year.
After smoking, being overweight, drinking alcohol and poor diet are the most common preventable causes of cancer in men.
Catherine Thompson, co-author and head of statistics at Cancer Research said: “Men can help stack the odds of avoiding cancer in their favour by quitting smoking and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables.”
MHF is currently campaigning for more male-focused cancer prevention work so that fewer men are struck down by cancer.