I spoke today in the debate on International Men's Day, and I focused on the particular health challenges faced by men, speaking on three primary areas.
The first was in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. Public Health England’s review demonstrated that, despite making up only 46 per cent of diagnosed cases, 60 per cent of deaths are among men, 70 per cent of admissions to intensive care are men and working-age males diagnosed with COVID-19 are twice as likely to die.
The second health risk I spoke about was cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK and the second most common cause of death, with around 12,000 deaths in 2017. In addition, since the early 1990s, testicular cancer incidence rates have risen by nearly 24 per cent among men in the UK. Great strides have been made in this area, including in survival rates - particularly for prostate cancer, which has gone from 76 per cent of people dying within 10 years in the ’70s to just 16 per cent now - but there is still a lot more to do.
For the third, I discussed some of the most chilling statistics which come in the form of mental health and suicide, because it truly is a terrible thing that the single biggest cause of death in men under 45 in the United Kingdom is men taking their own lives. Men account for about three quarters of suicide deaths registered in England and Wales. Middle-aged men in the UK have the highest average suicide rate of any age group.
I was pleased to take the opportunity to raise these important health issues, and I will continue to work to help support men's health across Sutton.
You can watch my contributions to the debate above, or you can read the entire transcript here.