Blog | Tuesday, December 18, 2012

QD: News Every Day--More cancer mortality in men can't be easily explained

Men are 1.5 times more likely to develop non-sex specific cancers than women, and more likely to die from it even after the higher incidence rate is accounted for, a descriptive epidemiologic study found.

Men are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage cancer in 7 of the 10 most commonly occurring non-sex specific cancers comprising 78% of all cases--all but colorectal, urinary bladder and brain cancers--study authors reported in the Journal of Urology.

Researchers used Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) data to conclude that the male to female relative mortality rate for any cancer was 1.060 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.055-1.065) and that the relative mortality rate of men compared to women for the same cancer was 1.126 (95% CI, 1.086-1.168).

For 2012 only, more than 575,000 men vs. 457,000 women were estimated to be diagnosed with cancer. That resulted in an estimated death of 244,000 men and 183,000 women.

Furthermore, this gap has been stable for the last decade, researchers noted. While the rate of cancer deaths to cancer diagnoses has decreased by 10% for both sexes over the past decade, it's been consistently higher for men than women every year.

Possible reasons for the disparity include: Men are more likely to make lifestyle choices such as smoking that incur cancer; they are less likely to seek regular primary care; and biological differences such as estrogen and it's possibly protective role have an impact, researchers reported.