Ensuring that male mental health patients are diagnosed with cancer at the earliest possible opportunity could help to reverse an alarming trend.
New scientific evidence form University College London and the University of Southampton shows that 23 per cent of male cancer patients with a history of psychiatric illness die within a year of diagnosis.
This figure is far worse than that for the general male population, where only nine per cent survive less than a year after cancer diagnosis.
Martin Ledwick, head information nurse at Cancer Research UK, said medical staff and relatives who deal with mental health patients should be very aware of any cancer symptoms in the people they care for.
One of the report's authors Dr David Batty stated it may be possible that potential signs of cancer have, in the past, been attributed to a patient's mental illness and this could have delayed the start of potentially life-saving treatment.