Rates of melanoma skin cancer rising faster in men than women

·2-min read

Rates of melanoma skin cancer are rising faster in men than women, according to new data.

Figures analysed by Cancer Research UK show that while UK rates for women have risen by 30% over 10 years, they have increased by 47% for men.

There has also been an 8% increase in death rates for men over the same time period, compared with a 5% drop for women.

The data breakdown shows that melanoma skin cancer incidence rates in men have risen from 20 cases per 100,000 people in 2005-2007 to 29 cases per 100,000 in 2015-2017, the most recent data available.

This compares to 19 cases per 100,000 people in 2005-2007 for women, rising to 25 cases per 100,000 in 2015-2017.

Men are more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer at a later stage than women. Changes are often found on their torso, potentially caused by going shirtless, according to Cancer Research UK.

The charity said this can make it harder to spot unusual changes, such as moles on the back.

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “These figures are worrying – getting sunburnt just once every two years can triple the risk of skin cancer, so it’s important that everyone knows how to protect themselves.

“Seeking shade, covering up and applying sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and four or five stars both regularly and generously can help you to stay safe in the sun.

“With staycations looking to be the norm for many this year, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that UK sun can be every bit as strong as when we are abroad.

“The same advice still applies, and if something doesn’t feel right or you notice any changes to your skin, talk to your GP.”

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with around 16,200 new cases each year.

According to Cancer Research UK, almost nine in 10 cases are preventable.

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