Men's health

Men's skin cancer death rates double

Men s skin cancer death rates double More likely to die from melanoma

The rate of men dying from malignant melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – has doubled over the past 30 years, according to new research.

More men and women are being diagnosed with malignant melanoma than ever before, with over 10,000 new cases being diagnosed each year.

But whilst women are being diagnosed with the potentially life threatening skin cancer, more men are dying from it.

Since the 1970s, death rates for women have risen from 1.5 per 100,000 to 2.2 per 100,000.

But, according to figures released by Cancer Research UK, fewer than 400 men died from melanoma thirty years ago compared with more than 1100 men now, representing a bigger jump in death rates from 1.5 to 3.1 per 100,000 men.

However, the highest death rates have occurred in men over the age of 65 which have soared from 4.5 per 100,000 to 15.2 per 100,000 since the late 70s.

The figures suggest that men are either unaware of the early signs of malignant melanoma or are more reluctant to get them checked out by their GP.

Caroline Cerny, Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart manager, said: "To curb this huge rise in deaths from malignant melanoma it's more important than ever that people are aware of the dangers of too much sun.

"Too often men leave it up to their partners or mothers to remind them to use sunscreen or cover up with a shirt and hat and even to visit the doctor about a worrying mole.

"It’s crucial that people go to their doctor as soon as they notice any unusual changes to their skin or moles – the earlier the cancer is diagnosed the easier it will be to treat.”

This article was published on Tue 1 June 2010

Image © Alice -

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