These Diseases Affect Men More Than Women

There are diseases that affect everyone, but professionals in the medical community believe there are certain diseases that affect men more than women. These illnesses aren't simply different strains of the "man flu," either; common diseases in men can prove fatal. 

The reasons vary as to why some medical conditions are more common in men than in women. For some men, hormones could be a factor. Lifestyle factors typical of men may also have something to do with it. Some doctors argue that men aren't as diligent as women when it comes to regular checkups, and that is why certain preventable ailments are seen more often in men.

Even if the medical community does not know the exact reason behind medical conditions common in men, they know it usually ends in a debilitating or lethal manner. Whether you're a man or the partner of a man, knowing what to look for with these common ailments could be life-saving. 


  • Men get the short end of the stick when it comes to the big C. Not only are men more prone to certain cancers, like lung cancer, they are also more likely to die from cancer than women.

    Men have a 40% chance of getting any sort of cancer (that's one in every three men), and they a 22% chance of dying from it. Women have slightly lower risks; they have a 38% chance of getting cancer and 19% chance of dying from it.

    Other than obvious differences in diagnoses (breast, testicular, prostate, ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancers), the main discrepancies include bladder (about three times more likely in men), kidney (about twice as likely in men), liver (about twice as likely in men), and oral (about twice as likely in men). 

  • Though it's unclear what causes Parkinson's disease - characterized by slow movements, shakiness, and stiff muscles which are caused by low dopamine levels in the brain - it is clear men are 1.5 times more likely than women to develop the condition. 

    There are several theories as to why this is. The male sex itself could be to blame, or men could get more head injuries or work with more toxic chemicals, both of which could possibly lead to Parkinson's. Some postulate that estrogen protects a woman's nervous system. 

    One study from UCLA showed a connection between a sex gene called SRY (the one responsible for making an embryo male) is from the same part of the brain that Parkinson's disease targets. Women do not have the SRY gene. 

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), colloquially known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a degenerative condition that affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to control their muscles voluntarily.

    There is no cure or way to slow ALS, and 15 people are diagnosed with it every day. Roughly 60% of those suffer from ALS are men, and ALS is 20% more common in men than in women. No one has any idea why more men than women get ALS, nor do we have any idea why military veterans (particularly those who fought during the Gulf War) are twice as likely to get the disease. 

    ALS is also the same disease Stephen Hawking had. Hawking was the exception and not the rule when it comes to surviving ALS, however. When ALS begins, most people die within three years. Only 5% will live 20 years or more. Hawking survived with the disease for 55 years and passed away on March 14, 2018, at the age of 76.

  • Many may associate skin cancer with women, given the tanning bed horror stories many have told. But men are at a higher risk of getting skin cancer, and they're also more likely to die from it. 

    Melanoma in men has increased an astronomical 150% since 1975, and it's not old men this is affecting. Men who are 15 to 39 are twice as likely to die from melanoma than women in that age range. As for why this is, it could be as simple as men not wanting to wear sunscreen. 

    It's possible that because men see skincare as feminine, and because women are brought up applying products to their face, men are at a disadvantage. Likewise, makeup for women often contains SPF. About half of men surveyed in 2012 said they hadn't used sunscreen in a year, and 80% said they didn't know how much they should be using anyhow. About 70% of men said they didn't know what warning signs to look for when it comes to skin cancer.

    In 2014, Banana Boat came out with a sunscreen for men, complete with a focus group-approved black bottle, as a response to the 2012 survey.