10:03 16 June 2009
It has been revealed that men's typically macho behaviour could up their cancer risk and, alarmingly, also increase the danger of dying.
Scientists discovered that men tend to downplay early symptoms, refusing to see a doctor and tend to lead much more unhealthier lifestyles, as opposed to their female counterparts.
In addition to more men having the danger signs (excess weight around the waist, high alcohol intake, smoking, poor diet and a family history of the disease), males are also more likely to acquire the illness in the first place. 70% of men are more likely to die from cancers affecting both sexes.
Professor David Forman, information lead for the National Cancer Intelligence Network, which helped carry out the research, said: "For many of the types of cancer we looked at that affect both sexes, there's no known biological reason why men should be at a greater risk than women, so we were surprised to see such consistent differences".
He added: "Men have a reputation for having a 'stiff upper lip' and not being as health conscious as women.
"What we see from this report could be a reflection of this attitude, meaning men are less likely to make lifestyle changes that could reduce their risk of the disease and less likely to go to their doctor with cancer symptoms."
However, ignoring the problem won't make it go away, and any delay in treatment could prove fatal.
Male cancer quiz
Take some time out for a check up.
Testicular cancer is easily treated if caught early. Symptoms to watch out for include a lump in either testicle, enlargement of the testicles, or a dull pain in the abdomen or groin.
There are various tests for testicular cancer, including blood tests, biopsy, x-ray and ultrasound.
Treatment may involve surgery followed by a course of chemotherapy, if the cancer has spread. For those men who need to have a testicle surgically removed, there is now the option of having a prosthetic replacement fitted.
If you're treated for testicular cancer, it's likely you'll have no long-term side effects from treatment. However, a small proportion of patients can become infertile after chemotherapy.
The causes of prostate cancer aren't fully understood, but it's known that the risk increases if the disease runs in the family. Early signs of prostate cancer may include delays in urinating, blood in the urine, pain while urinating and pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips.
The presence of one or more of these symptoms doesn't necessarily point to prostate cancer, but may indicate the presence of another, less serious condition. Either way, it's always best to seek medical advice if you have any concerns. Your GP will refer you to hospital for tests.
If prostate cancer is diagnosed, there are three main types of treatment available (depending on your individual circumstance): surgery, radiotherapy and hormone treatment.
The message to women is quite clear: it could be your partner, husband, son, uncle, brother, father or friend who is affected by prostate or testicular cancer. The Everyman campaign has produced a leaflet specifically for men and women, with step-by-step instructions on self-examination.
Men tend not to talk to each other about their health concerns, unlike women. Through the work of the medical profession, health organisations and high-profile campaigns, women now recognise the importance of self-breast examination. But the same message has yet to penetrate the male psyche, with male cancers.
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