London (PRWEB UK) 26 August 2013
The latest statistics from Cancer Research UK have revealed that skin cancer death rates are 70 per cent higher in men. The data from 2011 showed that 3.4 men per 100,000 die from malignant melanoma compared with two per 100,000 women. 1
The charity said that the likelihood of getting the disease is similar between the sexes, with 17.2men per 100,000 diagnosed compared with 17.3 women.
But death rates in men have increased by 185 per cent compared to 55 in women since the early 1970s. 2
ChemistDirect Superintendent Pharmacist Omar El-Gohary said: “Patients should be aware of changes to their skin and regularly check moles. Anything that’s growing quite quickly or changing in size, shape or anything else unusual should be checked out.”
Key risk factors for melanoma include excessive exposure to UV rays from the sun or sunbeds, a pale skin colour and high number of moles, and a family or personal history of the disease.
Sara Hiom, Director of Early Diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, suggested that one of the reasons for the difference between men and women could be down to attitudes towards seeing a doctor. People can worry about ‘wasting a doctor’s time over nothing’ and men are thought to be more likely than women to put off a niggling health concern. 3
El-Gohary added: “There are some groups of people – such as lorry drivers, or people who work outside – who don’t realise that they are at risk of sun damage, which can lead to skin cancer.”
“People should always make sure they are protected in the sun. They should wear a high SPF, keep covered up and sit in the shade when the sun is at its strongest.”
Men, unlike women, often develop the cancer on their back, making it more difficult to spot, so asking a partner to check is also good idea. Research shows that treatment is more likely to be successful if melanoma is spotted early on. 4