Men more likely to die of cancer: study

Cancer

Not only are men more likely than women to be diagnosed with cancer, men who get it have a higher chance of dying from the disease, according to a US study.

In an analysis of cases of all but sex-specific cancers such as prostate and ovarian cancer, for example, men were more likely than women to die in each of the past ten years, said researchers, whose findings appeared in The Journal of Urology.

That translates to an extra 24,130 men dying of cancer in 2012 because of their gender.

"This gap needs to be closed," said Shahrokh Shariat from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, who worked on the study. "It's not about showing that men are only doing worse and, 'poor men.' It's about closing gender differences and improving health care."

Using US cancer registry data from 2003 through 2012, Shariat and his colleagues found the ratio of deaths to cancer diagnoses decreased 10 percent over the past decade - but was consistently higher among men than women.

Overall, men with any type of cancer were six percent more likely to die of their disease than women with cancer. When men and women with the same type of cancer were compared, that rose to more than 12 percent.

In 2012, Shariat's team calculated that about 575,130 men and 457,240 women would be diagnosed with a non-sex specific cancer. Also this year, an estimated 243,620 men will die of cancer - one death for every 2.36 new diagnoses, compared to 182,670 women dying, or one for each 2.5 new diagnoses.

"We found that from the 10 most common cancers in males and females... men present at a higher stage than females, and adjusted for the incidence, are more likely to die from the cancer," Shariat told Reuters Health.

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