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Men found to be more likely to contract - and die from cancer

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 10th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It's a man's world, James Brown used to sing - but it carries a higher attendant risk, it seems. A new study has proven that men are more likely than women to contract cancer - and die from the disease as well.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a current study undertaken by the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, all but the most sex-specific cancers, such as ovarian versus prostate cancer, men were far more likely to die from cancer than women.

This figure translates to an extra 24,130 men dying of cancer in 2012 because solely on account of their gender.

"This gap needs to be closed," Dr. Shahrokh Shariat, who worked on the study, says. "It's not about showing that men are only doing worse and, 'poor men.' It's about closing gender differences and improving health care" for both men and women, he said.

Shariat and his colleagues, using U.S. cancer registry data from 2003 through 2012, found the ratio of deaths to cancer diagnoses decreased by 10 percent over the past decade and consistently higher among men than women.

Men with any type of cancer were six percent more likely to die of their disease than women with cancer. Furthermore, when men and women with the same type of cancer were compared, the difference rose to more than 12 percent.

Shariat's team calculated that about 575,130 men and 457,240 women would be diagnosed with a non-sex specific cancer this year. An estimated 243,620 men will die of cancer, one death for every 2.36 new diagnoses and 182,670 women will die one for each 2.50 new diagnoses.

"We found that from the 10 most common cancers in male 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.

"If you take an average of the 10 most common cancers, men are more likely to die in seven out of the ten," he added. Women are more likely to die only from bladder cancer, the researchers found.

The new study can't account for these behind these startling differences in cancer deaths, they wrote in The Journal of Urology.

Possible theories include men's higher rates of smoking and drinking combined with less frequent doctor's visits - which cause men's cancers to be diagnosed in later, more advanced stages.

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