Male Health News Previous news stories

Smoking may be even more harmful than previously thought 

Recent research suggests that tobacco will kill up to two out of every three smokers, not one in two as previously understood.

The Australian study was published in BMC Medicine, and used a sample of over 200,000 people over the age of 45 in Australia.  The results suggest that over two-thirds of deaths in smokers could be attributed to their tobacco use.  This adds to the sizable evidence of the impact of smoking on health, given that smoking is known to increase the risks of stroke, cancer, respiratory problems, heart disease and other conditions.

Given that more men smoke in the UK than women (22% of men compared to 19% of women), this is an issue directly relevant to men who want to safeguard their health.  If you are a smoker and want help to quit, there is a range of support options available.  For example, the NHS runs a SmokeFree programme where you can get advice, support packs, links to local stop smoking services and more.

More information on this story is available on the BBC News website, and you can also see the original study here.

(27th February 2015)


Men’s Health Week 2015 – take part!

This year, Men’s Health Week is from 15th-21st June. This is a great opportunity to shake off those cobwebs, get involved in active, healthy and fun activities, as well as raise awareness of men’s health issues for the benefit of all guys.

Organised by the Men’s Health Forum in England and Wales, the theme of this year’s Men’s Health Week is healthy living for men.  One man in five dies before he is 65, and Men’s Health Week aims to help men change that sobering statistic.  Avoiding preventable ‘killers’ like heart disease or stroke is key, as well as watching your own mental wellbeing.

Men’s Health Week 2015 is challenging men to:

  • Look after their relationships and wellbeing
  • Don’t smoke
  • Drink sensibly
  • Be active
  • Watch their weight

For more information on how you can sign up, and details of events as they are announced, see Men’s Health Week here.

(19th February 2015)


Macmillan urges the NHS to redesign cancer services

The cost of caring for inpatients with breast and prostate cancer in England will surge by a fifth (20%) in a decade, hitting at least £790 million a year by 2020, according to new research by Macmillan Cancer Support.

A study commissioned by Macmillan revealed soaring inpatient costs for two of the most common types of cancer in England. This comes at a time when the number of people expected to get cancer in their lifetime is set to increase to almost one in two by 2020.

Inpatient costs for breast cancer in England are projected to rise by £87 million between 2010 and 2020. For prostate cancer, the costs are predicted to increase by £44 million. Together these cancers account for almost a third (28%) of all new cases diagnosed each year in the UK and represent just part of the overall cost of inpatient care for cancer patients.

It is likely that the rise in costs is being driven mainly by the increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with and surviving cancer, many of whom may need treatment for other health complications. Recent Macmillan research showed that one in four people living with cancer suffer poor health or disability caused by their illness.

(September 2013)


Lung Disease Will Kill One In Five By 2030

It is reported that lung disease now accounts for one in ten deaths in Europe – and smoking causes half those fatalities.  Unless improvements are made in health education the situation will get worse by 2030 says the World Health Organisation.  It claims lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will cause a fifth of all deaths worldwide in 20 years.  The cost of treating patients in Europe currently runs at £330 million!

(September 2013)


Men Will Have 50-50 Risk of Cancer Within the Next 15 Years

Within approximately 15 years, men will have a 50 percent chance of being diagnosed with cancer, experts predict. The six percent rise will be matched by a four percent increase in women from forty percent to forty four percent by 2027.

The most common types are expected to be prostate, bowel and skin cancer – but fewer people will die thanks to better diagnosis and treatment. Cancer Research UK, using current trends and death rates, shows the total number of cancer sufferers rising from 324,000 in 2010 to 416,000 by 2027. Chief executive Dr Harpal Kumar said “On the plus side, our life expectancy is increasing but this also means more of us are likely to be diagnosed with cancer”.

Cancer survival has doubled in the last 40 years and figure is expected to rise further. New treatments, lifestyle and environmental changes may also alter future rates. Researchers say that the number of cases of bowel cancer will rise from 41,800 to 54,400. Malignant melanoma will increase from 12,800 to 20,400 and prostate cancer form 41,000 to 57,000.

Prostate cancer expert Professor Malcolm Mason of the University of Cardiff said “As our population ages, growing numbers of men will be diagnosed with the disease!”.

(December 2012)


Millions Die From Eating Far Too Much

High blood pressure us the worlds most dangerous health risk, a major global study has shown. Overeating kills more than twice as many people as malnutrition. Professor Majid Ezzati, a study leader said: “We’ve gone from a world 20 years ago were people weren’t getting enough to eat to a world now where too much food and unhealthy food – even in developing countries – is making us sick.  A ‘growing burden’ of risk factors are leading to chronic diseased such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, he said. Research, which covered 187 countries, showed the average life expectancy has risen by a decade since 1970.  But although people are living longer they are more likely to be doing so with a disease or disability.

“The good news is that there of lots of things we can do to reduce disease risk”, he said. “To bring down the burden of high blood pressure, we need to regulate the salt content of food, provide easier access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and strengthen primary healthcare services”.

(December 2012)


Male Breast Cancer

An interesting article has been published recently in US magazine Time, which draws on the results of new research into breast cancer in men. In the largest study yet into the male disease, the results of which were presented  to the American Society of Breast Surgeons in Phoenix, US, researchers found that while breast cancer is much rarer in men, those who do develop the disease will not survive as long as their female counterparts. Researchers have suggested that this is due to a lack of awareness about the disease amongst men, as many do not know that both sexes are susceptible to the disease.

The researchers, lead by Dr. Jon Greif, a breast cancer surgeon in Oakland, California, examined and analysed data from breast cancer cases in the US over a ten year period from 1998 to 2007. Of those included in the study, there were a total of 13,457 male patients and 1.4 million female patients diagnosed with breast cancer.  The database used contained data on about 75 percent of all breast cancer cases in the US during that period. The study found that, on average, women with breast cancer lived two years longer than men with breast cancer. It was also found that men’s breast tumors were larger at diagnosis, more advanced and more likely to have spread to other parts of the body. Men were also diagnosed later in life. Men were diagnosed at an average age of 63 whilst women were diagnosed at 59.

Dr Grief stated that many men have no idea that they can get breast cancer, and that some doctors are unaware as well, “dismissing symptoms that would be an automatic red flag in women.” The causes of male breast cancer are not well researched but it is thought that, as in women, risk factors include age, genetic mutations, a family history, and heavy drinking.

(May 2013)