"They (men) are however less informed about sun protection and more apt to be diagnosed with a later stage melanoma that may have spread to other parts of their body." - Dr. Michael Steppie
Orlando, FL (PRWEB) April 17, 2015
Since the month of May is our nation's "Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month," Associates in Dermatology will be reaching out to all adult males* in the Middle District of Florida with an offer for free skin cancer screenings. With 12 dermatology practices and a College of American Pathologists-certified laboratory, the Orlando-based medical group is taking a proactive stance in the fight to help prevent cancer-related deaths in this high risk group through the early detection of skin cancer lesions.
In his Call to Action for a recently published report on skin cancer at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov, the acting U.S. Surgeon General emphasized the need for comprehensive approach with affirmative action to prevent skin cancer through improved sun protection and early intervention.
"The word prevention cannot be emphasized enough with our efforts. In a world of epidemics, outbreaks, and growing rates of cancer, we can sometimes feel that good health eludes us," stated Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H. "With this Call to Action, we are promoting straightforward steps that will incorporate skin cancer prevention into our everyday lives."(1)
Although many national campaigns promote women's health issues, such as "Breast Cancer Awareness Month," there are relatively few educational initiatives specifically directed toward skin cancer prevention in adult males. According to an acceptability study conducted in Australia, adult men (especially those age 50 and above) who were offered skin cancer screenings were far more likely to visit a doctor for an examination as well as perform self-screenings.(2)
*Note: Regardless of Medicare or TRICARE eligibility, all adult males qualify for a no-cost skin cancer screening at any Associates in Dermatology practice during the month of May.
Melanoma Incidence & Death Rates for Older Males
Melanoma is only the 3rd most common type of skin cancer but it is responsible for the majority of skin cancer deaths in the United States each year with more than 63,000 people diagnosed and nearly 9,000 people dying from the deadly disease.(3) According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, in 2011 melanoma of the skin was the fifth most common cancer overall and adult white males 65 or older had the highest incidence rates at 130.1 per 100,000 and death rate of 23.7 per 100,000. The Surgeon General's report states that the increased risk of melanoma in older white males is likely due to a variety of factors including differences in lifestyle and differing attitudes about sun protection when compared to other groups.
The higher rates of melanoma observed among older men may be due to a lifetime spent participating in outdoor activities and a lesser understanding about the use of effective sun protection measures, including sunscreen with an SPF of 15+. Since men over age 40 are the group that receives the greatest amount of UV exposure, wearing wide-brimmed hats (typical baseball caps leave ears and neck exposed) and protective clothing may be particularly important for reducing overall melanoma rates. The doctors at Associates in Dermatology plan to educate adult males about sun protection strategies as well as how to perform ongoing self-examinations.
About Associates in Dermatology
Associates in Dermatology operates twelve Central Florida skincare and skin cancer specialty clinics and a CAP-certified dermatopathology laboratory. The group's doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and clinical aestheticians help patient overcome skin-related conditions and provide cutting-edge skin cancer treatments for patients of all ages.
"Men are not inherently indifferent to skin healthcare or unwilling to take protective measures when outdoors," said Dr. Michael Steppie, Associates in Dermatology Medical Director. "They are however less informed about sun protection and more apt to be diagnosed with a later stage melanoma that may have spread to other parts of their body."(4)
Adult males of all ages can request an appointment for a free skin cancer screening anytime during the month of May. The offer is also extended to men 65 years and older who have Medicare or TRICARE insurance coverage.
Dr. Steppie also serves as an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Central Florida and as Clinical Assistant Professor in Dermatology at the Florida State University College of Medicine (Orlando Regional Campus).
(1) Lushniak BD. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2014.
(2) Lowe, JB, Ball, J, Lynch, BM, et al. Acceptability and feasibility of a community-based screening programme for melanoma in Australia. Health Promot Int 2004 Dec., 19(4):437-44. Epub 2004 Nov. 1.
(3) U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2010 Incidence and Mortality web-based report. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services and National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health; 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/uscs. Accessed January 20, 2014.
(4) Steppie, M, Skin Cancer and the Gender Gap: Why More Men Die from Skin Cancer; The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal; Vol. XXX; 2012.