Cancer Deaths in Wales

In the case of cancer it is not always appropriate to compare gender mortalities in specific cancers because several are sex-specific. Breast cancer and prostate cancer kill essentially equal numbers of women and men respectively. However, if we concentrate on ‘premature’ deaths, i.e., in people younger than 75, then breast cancer has about twice the morality rate as prostate cancer which tends to affect older men.

(Breast cancer also affects men. About 350 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the UK annually – but this is only ~0.6% of the diagnosis rate for women).

Despite this, men have a higher mortality rate from all cancers combined – whether the accounting is done across all ages or confined to below 75. Two of the biggest killers are lung cancer and colo-rectal cancer, both of which kill more men than women. Data from British Heart Foundation report “cardiovascular disease statistics 2015”, Table 1.2, are summarised in Table 1 below for the case of people dying before age 75.

Table 1: Deaths of People Aged <75 from Cancers

Cancer Wales UK
Men Women Ratio, m:w Ratio, m:w
All Cancers 2350 2020 1.16 1.17
Colo-Rectal Cancer 264 141 1.87 1.49
Lung Cancer 566 492 1.15 1.24
Prostate Cancer 150
Breast Cancer 312

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