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Men are most at risk of skin cancer

New research has revealed men are significantly more likely to die of skin cancer than women.

A study by Cancer Research UK found malignant melanoma – the most severe form of the disease – fatality rates are 70 per cent higher among males, which is a shocking statistic.

According to the organisation, 3.4 of every 100,000 men die as a result of the condition, compared to two women. However, the rate at which men and women contract the disease is much closer, with 17.2 and 17.3 from every 1000,000 diagnosed with it each year respectively.

Cancer Research said it expects this divide between the sexes to increase over the near future, with the fatality rate for males rising but remaining stable in females.

Julia Newton-Bishop, a Cancer Research dermatologist based at the University of Leeds, stated: “Research has suggested the difference between the sexes could be in part because men are more likely to be diagnosed when melanoma is at a more advanced stage.”

However, she added there may also be strong biological reasons behind men’s vulnerability to skin cancer and said scientists are currently working to explore this further.

Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, claimed many men may be reluctant to see a doctor even if they notice a problem with their skin and this delay will increase the chances of their condition becoming fatal.

“If something goes wrong with the car then you sort it out straight away. The same should go for you – if you, or your partner, notice any unusual or persistent changes then see your GP,” she stated.

Cancer Research’s study is further evidence of the importance of staying protected in the sun, as malignant melanoma is scientifically proven to be linked to sunburn. Thankfully, keeping yourself safe is easy and can be done by covering up, applying sun lotion and sticking to the shade when the sun is at its strongest.

A shade sail is an ideal way to do this, as it can block 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays and provides a cool and relaxing sheltered spot in which to enjoy the outdoors.

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