Excess burden of cancer in men in Ireland 1994-2008

Status: 
Related staff: 
Prof Linda Sharp (former staff)
Collaborators & co-investigators: 
Mr Nicholas Clarke, The Centre for Men’s Health, Institute of Technology Carlow
Dr Noel Richardson, The Centre for Men’s Health, Institute of Technology Carlow
Funding source: 
Irish Cancer Society

The purpose of this study was to unravel the statistics in relation to the rates of cancer diagnosis, survival and mortality for men and women in the Republic of Ireland.

We aimed to investigate key gender differences in relation to incidence, survival and mortality for five non-gender specific cancers (bladder, colorectal, stomach, lung, and melanoma) in the Republic of Ireland from 1994 to 2008 with a view to informing both cancer strategy and men’s health policy in the Republic of Ireland.

The research included analysis of data from the National Cancer Registry for each cancer site in relation to patient characteristics including socio-economic and clinical factors disaggregated by gender, from the years 1994-2008. In addition a literature review was carried out in order to understand the factors underpinning disparities in cancer risk in men.

The results of the analysis show that men in Ireland have greater incidence (except melanoma) and mortality for all cancers examined: rate ratios ranged from 1.6:1 to 3:1. Men also had lower survival for colorectal, lung and melanoma skin cancer. These excess rates are probably largely explained by (traditionally) higher rates of tobacco and alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets, overweight/ obesity, low levels of physical activity or inactivity and, to some extent, later presentation in men. A report has been published from the study, and this included several recommendations for more targeted and gender-specific approaches to cancer control. Papers are in preparation. This work was conducted by Mr Nicholas Clarke while he was based at the Carlow Institute of Technology.

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