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Men's Health Forum: Men & Cancer - Saving Lives Expert Report

This report is a summary of the presentations and debate at the Men and Cancer Expert Roundtable in January, 2013, King's Fund, London, UK. Men are over 35% more likely to die from cancer than women in the UK. This difference is even more evident when breast cancer and sex-specific cancers such as prostate and ovarian are removed from the analysis – men were then 67% more likely to die from cancer.



The report Excess Cancer Burden in Men produced by the MHF, Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Intelligence Network was presented at the MHF's expert round-table in London in January 2013 and highlighted that younger men, under 65, were at particular risk of developing cancer. They are 58% more likely to die from cancers that affect both men and women.

The report, Men and Cancer: Saving Lives, produced by the Men's Health Forum collates presentations and opinion by cancer experts from the seminar in 2013. Experts concluded that there are almost no known biological explanations for higher rates of cancer in men. 35% of cancers still have no known cause, although some may have biological explanations. That 35% is likely to remain unexplained for some time to come.

According to the MHF health services must act to deliver awareness and screening that targets men and saves lives. The policy ideas that attracted the most support in the audience at the seminar were that:

  • A wider range of cancer data should be collected and published in gender-disaggregated form. It should also be made more easily accessible to policy makers and practitioners.
  • GP surgeries and other primary care providers should be required to make more effort to reach out to men, especially those men in particular sub-groups who are known to be poorer users of services.
  • The HPV vaccination programme should be extended to include boys.
  • There should be greater regulation of lifestyle-related risk factors such as smoking, alcohol intake and unhealthy foods.
  • Health providers should be given incentives to improve services for men. Health improvement interventions should also be considered to give men incentives to participate.

Resources Available

  • Men & Cancer: Saving Lives Expert Report

    This is a summary of the presentations and the debate at the Men and Cancer Expert Roundtable. The Roundtable brought together some of the foremost thinkers on the relationship between gender and cancer. It also included national experts on improving male health.(PDF, 1.4MB).

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  • Excess Cancer Burden in Men Report

    Men are generally at greater risk of developing and dying from nearly all of the common cancers that occur in males and females, apart from breast cancer. This report shows the overall burden of cancer in males in the UK, and an outline of the differences between the sexes.(PDF, 1MB).

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