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Tuesday 20 March 2018

Irish men at greater risk of cancer and mortality than women

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A landmark report from the Irish Cancer Society shows that men are at higher risk of getting cancer and dying from the disease than women.

The study of cancer incidence and mortality from a gender perspective in Ireland, the first of its kind, found that men were more likely to die from all cancers examined – including melanoma, a skin disease that develops more frequently in females. 


Male mortality rates ranged from between 1.6-2.7 times that of women, according to the report launched to mark Men’s Health Week 2013, with colorectal and lung cancer presenting the highest risks.


An executive summary that accompanies the Excess Burden of Cancer Among Men in the Republic of Ireland report refers to projections that the number of invasive cancers is to increase by 7% annually for men compared to 6% annually for women.


Further to lifestyle decisions such as smoking, excess drinking and unhealthy eating, other mitigating factors for the figures include the traditionally poor patterns of help seeking behaviour among men.


Dr. Noel Richardson director of the Centre for Men’s Health at the Institute of Technology Carlow said: “Cancer represents a significant proportion of what Ireland’s National Men’s Health Policy describes as ‘the burden of ill-health’ experienced by Irish men. Lifestyle factors account for a large proportion of this excess burden and are particularly crucial for men in lower socio-economic groups.”


“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.”

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