Date Published: 14 February 2014

Global cancer death count 50% higher in men than women

Global cancer death rates are more than 50% higher in men than women, according to figures just published Cancer Research UK.

The statistics indicate that the total number of global cancer deaths per year is more than 8,000,000 (eight million). This can be broken-down into seperate figures for men and women: More than 4.6 million men die from cancer each year, which is equivalent to 126 men in every 100,000, while approx. 3.5 million women die from cancer each year, which is equivalent to 82 women per 100,000 (standardised to the World Age Standard).

The four forms of cancer that are responsible for the greatest number of deaths annually are lung cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer and bowel cancers. Collectively these cancers lead to almost half of all cancer deaths globally.

However, these simple statistics mask a more complicated situation. There is huge international variation in cancer death rates. Men's cancer death rates are highest in Central and Eastern Europe, wheras East Africa has the highest death rates for women and is one of the few areas where rates for women are higher than for men. The accuracy of the data also varies considerably. Countries in the developed world with higher rates of cancer are more likely to have more accurate cancer data.

Nick Ormiston-Smith, head of statistics at Cancer Research UK, said:

" The contrast in cancer death rates between the sexes may be down to more men being diagnosed with types of cancers that are harder to treat, such as cancers of the bladder, liver, lung and oesophagus.
_ Cancer is estimated to account for around 16% of all deaths worldwide. Age is the biggest risk factor for most cancers and, as global life-expectancy increases, we'll see more people being diagnosed with the disease.
_ But lifestyle also plays an important role. Worldwide, tobacco consumption has been responsible for an estimated 100 million deaths in the last century and, if current trends continue, it will kill 1,000 million in the 21st century. Smoking is by far the most important preventable cause of cancer in the world
."

Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said:

" The latest figures show men are more likely to get cancer, and they're also more likely to die from it, than women. It's vital for governments around the world to tackle these inequalities.
_ Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in almost half of all countries. That means we're all facing a similar challenge in the fight against cancer.
_ Global research efforts have dramatically improved survival and are giving more people than ever the best possible chance of beating the disease. But we know there's still a lot more to do if we're going to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured
."

Source: Cancer Research UK
http://www.cancerresearchuk.org

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