Tackling the excess incidence of cancer in men: proceedings of the expert symposium held at Leeds Metropolitan University on November 16th 2006

Document type
Conference proceedings
Wilkins, David
Men's Health Forum
Date of publication
1 April 2007
Health Services, Employment
Social welfare
Material type

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This report presents the proceedings of an expert symposium which brought together a group of the leading practitioners, academics and thinkers, along with patient groups and men who have had cancer, in order to explore why cancer incidence and mortality is so much higher in men than in women. In its first session the symposium heard a series of presentations by expert speakers that addressed some of the most important issues underlying the central question. All the speakers accepted that reducing the gap between men and women is of absolutely central importance in seeking to reduce cancer incidence and mortality in the population as a whole. There was agreement too, that cancer prevention campaigns and treatment programmes are currently being hampered by misconceptions and lack of knowledge in relation to cancer in men.

The second session of the symposium was devoted to an open debate which drew on the expertise and ideas of all those present. A series of eight recommendations for future action was agreed. These recommendations include: there should be an urgent systematic review of the existing evidence in relation to men and cancer; work should be undertaken to examine how men respond to the vocabulary of cancer both when they do not have the disease and post-diagnosis; and greater emphasis should be placed on symptom recognition as a component of health improvement campaigns, with particular attention being paid to the need for male-sensitive communication strategies.