Why are Men Vulnerable to Skin Cancer?

Men unlikely to use protection against ultraviolet radiation

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) While there are entire industries built around adding sunscreen and sunblock to the normal skin products women use, men are far less likely to use skin care products. Why?

Several studies have shown that men are less likely to go to the doctor for a variety of conditions, and skin cancer is no different.

"Hey guys - use sunscreen when spending time outdoors."

In an informal online survey, the American Academy of Dermatology found that less than a third of men use sunscreen consistently, and were more likely to never use anything at all.

Similarly, 46 percent of men knew how to check for melanoma, whereas 59 percent of women regularly did a self check.

Men older than 40 have twice the rate of melanoma than women do, and dermatologists estimate there will be 130,000 new cases of melanoma in 2012.

Ultraviolet radiation is present all year long, even on cloudy days.

May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, and the American Academy of Dermatology is launching a campaign to raise awareness.

Thomas E. Rohrer, MD, professor of dermatology at Brown University School of Medicine, highlighted the urgent need for better habits. “Men need to examine their skin and see a dermatologist if they spot anything changing, bleeding or growing."

When caught early, melanoma cure rates can be as high as 98 percent.

“The survey results should serve as a wake-up call to men to be vigilant about protecting their skin from sun exposure and examining their skin regularly for skin cancer,” said Dr. Rohrer.

“Loved ones can assist by examining their partners’ skin and noting anything suspicious. These exams are vital since the early detection of skin cancer helps save lives.”

May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.

Information used in this article is from the American Academy of Dermatology's campaign to raise awareness.

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Review Date: 
May 15, 2012
Last Updated:
July 12, 2012