Cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world today. Its survival rates are slim which makes it important to detect this disease at an early stage. With ongoing drive to prevent cancer, researchers have reached a conclusion that cancer has also been divided into two groups:
- General- Colon cancer, stomach cancer, skin cancer etc.
- Gender specific- Ovarian cancer and breast cancer in females, prostrate cancer and testicular cancer in males.
According to reports, men have 55 % higher chances of succumbing to cancer than women. This can be attributed to various factors such as
- Smoking and drinking- While most women occasionally smoke and drink, men are more addicted to them. This increases their chances of having tobacco related cancers such as lung and throat cancers. This increases the incidence of cancers in men by 50 %.
- Skin care- European and American population is more prone to skin cancer than Asian population as they have lesser amount of melanin in their skin. In this ration, the men are at a higher risk than women. But American men do not use sun screens or take appropriate protective measures to guard their skin against harmful sunrays. While women, the process of protecting their looks and beauty, take measures to keep the skin safe from the sun. This decreases their chances of suffering from skin cancer.
- Doctor’s visits- Studies have shown that men make fewer visits to the doctors than women do. In fact, they tend to wait during a physical uneasiness till they feel that the disorder is severe or life threatening. In most cases, the situation could have been treated if they had sought timely medical intervention.
- Discussion issues- Men are less likely to discuss their health related issue than women. This is especially true in cases where men may be suffering from prostrate cancer or testicular cancer. One of the most specific symptoms of this form of cancer is erectile dysfunction which men tend to brush under the carpet till the issue cannot be cured and the cancer has advanced. Women are more likely to approach doctors for lumps in the breast and irregular menstrual cycles and hence breast cancer or cervical cancer have high chances of being detected at an early stage. Men pay the price of zipping their lips regarding their health concerns.
- Society- For women and their health, the society has various issues, campaigns, assisted education programs, research and government assisted health care for breast and cervical cancer. The same does not imply for men who are not getting the privilege of gender specific cancer education and the required medical assistance from the government. The society too tends to talk to women regarding their health and diseases, side lining the men. This makes them more vulnerable to various forms of cancers.
So far, scientists have not found any biological reasons for men being more prone to cancer than women. The only difference seems to be that of an attitude. Changing the laid back attitude that men have towards their health could decrease their risk of suffering from cancer.