Statistics show that men are around 40% more likely to die from cancer than women, and if that doesn’t sound bad enough, 16% more men actually get cancer than women. So the odds for the men are much worse for the women, and most data seems to point to the reason being lifestyle, as no genetic reason for these statistics has yet been found. Although cancer rates have been rising in both sexes, this is partly due to better diagnosis. However, survival rates have been increasing faster than the diagnosis rates have been rising, which means the outlook is much brighter.
The most common cancer for men is prostate cancer, and although this is one that has been on the rise, it is also the one where diagnosis of this disease has become much more efficient. More men are also being diagnosed with it early, which makes it treatable. For those men who do get cancer, the chances of it being one of the top 10 types are as follows:
Most common cancer for men
• Prostrate – 25%
• Lung – 14%
• Bowel – 14%
• Bladder – 5%
• Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma – 4%
• Malignant Melanoma – 4%
• Kidney – 4%
• Oesophagus – 3%
• Leukemia – 3%
• Stomach – 3%
One of the lifestyle factors that drives higher cancer rates in men is the fact that they tend to drink and smoke more, a combination that points to a number of cancers later in life. Although more men tend to play sports, the number of those that take no exercise at all, and spend their lives sitting around is high and this puts them at higher risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as cancer. With obesity still rising in both sexes, it is likely that this may also make cancer rates increases.
There are also more late stage cancers reported in men, as when it comes to something wrong with them they tend to be a lot more stubborn than women, believing that it is not a manly thing to go to the doctor, so they often put it off as long as possible. By the time some of these men do get to see a doctor, and cancer is diagnosed, it is too late to treat, and this is one of the main reasons that death rates in men are higher than in women.
There is a line of thought that male cancer treatment is different than that of females due to the amount of time, money and research that has gone into breast cancer, but survival rates between the two sexes for cancers caught at an early stage compare well with each other. Although the most common cancer for men is prostrate, as long as the man goes for frequent testing with his doctor, it can be detected and treated early.
Research and treatment into cancers has never been as advanced as it is now, and survival rates are only likely to continue to increase. It may take another ten years, but eventually the medical world will get to a stage where a cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence, but just something to live with.