Men face the highest risk of cancer than women and the reasons until now not clear. However, a new study published by Wiley online in cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society shows that this is much related to biological sex difference rather than behavioural difference such as smoking or drinking.
The findings point out that the biological differences between sexes such as physiological, immunological, genetic, and other differences play a major role in the cancer susceptibility of men versus women.
“Our results show that there are differences in cancer incidence that are not explained by environmental exposures alone. This suggests that there are intrinsic biological differences between men and women that affect susceptibility to cancer,” said Sarah S Jackson of the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Jackson and her team assessed differences in the risk for each of 21 cancer sites among 171,274 male and 122,826 female adults aged 50–71 years who were participating in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health study from 1995–2011.
They saw that 17,951 new cancerous cells arose in men and 8,742 in women during that time. Incidence was lower in men than women only for thyroid and gallbladder cancers. However, they found risks were 1.3- to 10.8-times higher in men than women at other anatomic sites. The greatest increased risks in men were seen for esophageal (a 10.8-times higher risk), larynx (a 3.5-times higher risk), gastric cardia (a 3.5-times higher risk), and bladder cancers (a 3.3-times higher risk).
The researchers found that men had an increased risk of most cancers even after adjusting for a wide range of risk behaviors and carcinogenic exposures. Indeed, differences in risk behaviors and carcinogenic exposures between the sexes only accounted for a modest proportion of the male predominance of most cancers (ranging from 11% for esophageal cancer to 50% for lung ).
CANCEFR FACTS FOR MEN
Some of the cancers most often affect men are prostate, colorectal, lung, and skin cancers. Once you know these cancers and what you can do to help prevent them or find them early (when they are small, have not spread, and might be easier to treat), it may help save your life.
- Stay away from tobacco.
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
- Get moving with regular physical activity.
- Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and that limits or avoids red/processed meats, and highly processed foods.
- It is best not to drink alcohol. If you do drink, have no more than 2 drinks per day for men.
- Protect your skin.
- Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
- Get regular check-ups and cancer screening tests.