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MPs asked for more action on men's cancer

The MHF has called on MPs to act to tackle the high levels of male cancer. Policy officer David Wilkins made the request yesterday in his evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer's inquiry into inequalities.

In 2004 the Forum first highlighted how men are almost twice as likely to die from the most common non-sex specific cancers. 

Cancer is still an example of how men's health is much poorer than it need be.

MHF policy officer, David Wilkins was quizzed by the MPs at the meeting in parliament. He said 'Everything points to men's lifestyles and poor use of services being a key factor. Men are still more likely to smoke and seem to delay going to their GP when symptoms first appear and this has a terrible effect on outcomes.'

In National Men's Health Week this year the Forum and others published 'The Excess Burden of Cancer in Men in the UK' which reported that men are almost 40% more likely than women to die from cancer and are 16% more likely to develop the disease in the first place. After excluding breast cancer (which is extremely uncommon in men) and cancers specific to one or other sex, the difference is even greater — with men being almost 70% more likely to die from cancer and over 60% more likely to develop the disease.

David Wilkins added: 'In 2007 we produced 'Tackling the excess incidence of cancer in men' and called for more work on why some patients delay presenting with cancer symptoms, and how and why this varies according to gender. We also need to examine how men respond to health messages and advice in relation to cancer.'

MHF will continue to work with Macmillan and other organisations to tackle men's high rates of cancer. The Forum is also working to improve men's participation in the bowel screening programme.

Page created on July 9th, 2009

Page updated on January 15th, 2010