Men, Melanoma and Mortality

Men, as all wives know, are not good at looking after their health. In general, they do well with boats, cars and gadgets. When it comes to wearing a hat putting on sunscreen or going for a skin check, all these feature low on their priority list.

At Skinspots, only 30% of people requesting a first skin check were Male!

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Luckily most men have a partner, mother, sister or a mate who can see when he is not doing so well at looking after himself. At Skinspots Skin Cancer Clinic over the past few years, almost 70% of people requesting a first skin check were female. The rest, males, were mostly told to get a skin check by another person most often their partner.

The longest operating cancer registry in the U.S. show that since 1950, melanoma incidence has increased more than 20-fold in older men, and the rate of men dying of melanoma has tripled. A recent trend analysis revealed an emerging vulnerability for melanoma among men.

New Zealand rates top in the world in melanoma incidence. Melanoma occurs more in older men, but, melanoma is the leading cancer among males aged 25 to 44 years. Melanoma rates are increasing for males. Death rates from melanoma are higher among men and are still increasing.

This means we, as men, have a problem that we are not good at managing. We laugh it off and pretend it’s nothing, to maintain our self-image and not to risk losing work. For a man the “don’t fix it until it’s broken” doesn’t cut it when it comes to preventing death from melanoma. Early detection and treatment are critical and usually curative.

So we need to do better at looking after ourselves guys! Check your skin and remember your back, head, groin and soles are covered with skin too. Guys if you see something abnormal on a mate’s skin, speak up and tell them.

As a safety net, ladies please keep on checking the man in your life.

We provide day-to-day skin cancer care, diagnosis and treatment, education, counselling, disease prevention and screening in our community.

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