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Skin cancer death rate much higher for men than women

Recent findings suggest that skin cancer is much more dangerous to men than women.

Recent findings suggest that skin cancer is much more dangerous to men than women.

Death rates from the most serious type of skin cancer are 70 percent higher in men than women, the latest figures from Cancer Research UK showed recently.

According to the figures, each year in the country, 3.4 men per 100,000 compared with 2.0 women die from malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. But incidence rates are similar with 17.2 men per 100,000 diagnosed compared with 17.3 women.

The gap is predicted to widen in the future, with death rates from malignant melanoma on the increase in men but remaining stable for women.

Since the early 70s, death rates in men have increased by 185 per cent compared to a rise of only 55 percent in women. The key risk factors for melanoma include excessive exposure to UV from sunlight or sunbeds, a high number of moles, and a family or personal history of the disease.

“One of the reasons for the difference may be attitudes towards seeing a doctor. We tend to be reluctant to ‘waste the doctor’s time – men are especially likely to put it off,” said Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK.

“It’s also essential to take care not to burn, particularly given the sunny weather we’ve had this summer,” Hiom said.

There are several factors which can contribute to a higher risk of having melanoma:

  • UV-light: This can come from either the sun or artificial sources like sun beds.
  • Moles: The more moles that you have, the more susceptible you are to melanoma
  • Skin color: You have a higher risk of developing melanoma when you have lighter skin
  • Sunburn: Melanoma can develop from long-periods of sun exposure and short-periods of intense exposure or burns
  • Family history: If you have a family history of skin cancer you have a higher risk of developing melanoma
  • Illnesses and lowered immunity:  If your immune system has been compromised you have a heightened risk of melanoma
  • Chemicals: Certain industrial chemicals and pesticides may increase the risk of melanoma

Here are some ways that you can lower your risk:

  • Limit your sun exposure—especially if you are already at a heightened risk
  • Utilize extra clothing, shade, and sunscreen
  • When choosing a sunscreen, look for at least 15 SPF and a high level of both UVA and UVB protection
  • Screen yourself: Check for moles that are getting bigger, changing shape or color, itching, bleeding, or becoming crusty.  Take pictures of any suspect moles and tag them with the date so that you can compare them with later pictures.

Source: (Xinhua)

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