New figures show men still more likely than women to get cancer

Friday, 19 February 2016

Cancer Council Western Australia says new Cancer Registry figures reveal men are still more likely to be diagnosed with cancer and are still more likely to die from cancer than women.

The Cancer Registry Report WA 2014 has been released, showing for the first time there were more than 12,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in WA in 2014.

That represents an increase of about 300 from 2013.

Cancer Council WA Education and Research Director Terry Slevin says it is important to note that there are marked differences in cancer outcomes between men and women.

“One in three men under the age of 75 are likely to receive a cancer diagnosis compared to one in four women, and 102 per 100,000 Western Australian men died from cancer in 2014 compared to 73 per 100,000 women,” Mr Slevin said.

Mr Slevin says there is no biological reason men should get more cancer than women.

“The difference is partly behavioural –men drink and smoke more than women, but also broadly, men don’t use the health system in the same way as women.

“Men are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a more advanced stage than women,” he said.

Mr Slevin says while the Cancer Registry figures also show that more people are being diagnosed with cancer, that may be attributed to an increasing and ageing population as well as more participation in effective screening programs for cancer of the breast, cervix and bowel.

“These new figures invite us to review if we are doing enough to prevent cancer. Clear progress is being made in tobacco with a falling smoking rate, and evidence of skin cancer prevention efforts of more than three decades is starting to show through with falling melanoma rates in the younger age groups,” he said.

“The Western Australian Cancer registry is one of the most up to date registries in the world to report cancer figures.   The people who run the registry should be recognised for their efforts to provide this important data, which is vital for proper planning for our health system in a timely and reliable manner.”

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