Ireland expects to see increases of over 50% in the leading cancers in men by 2020.
In large part, this is the result of an ageing population but ignorance among younger men also promises to be a factor.
The ‘startling’ predictions were made by the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) based on figures from National Cancer Registry of Ireland. The Society expect a 57% increase in prostate cancer, a 55% increase in bowel cancer and 56% increase in lung cancer.
The ICS staged a public awareness week last month to raise awareness of the incidence of the common cancers amongst men and to encourage men to attend their GP for regular check-ups.
As part of the campaign, the ICS also released findings of research that it commissioned among men over the last four years. They showed that men tended not to prioritise health unless they felt unwell and that many believed that unless cancer was in their immediate family it would not affect them.
Moreover, one-third of males did not know any of the symptoms associated with the most common male cancers - young men in urban areas had the least knowledge.