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Why Men Are More Likely To Get Skin Cancer

by kelly / August, 22 2018 01:30

Photo of a man's face

The predominant feeling is that skin care is for women. Sure it’s slowly changing but generally women take better care of their skin than men. I often hear from my male friends “I don’t need skin care - rugged is in”. But healthy skin and good sun protection should be a must for any man because the reality is more men are diagnosed with skin cancer than women.

Skin Cancer Effects More Men Than Women

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation more people are diagnosed with skin cancer than any other form of cancer combined and men make up a majority of this statistic.

The facts are sobering:

  • 57% of people diagnosed with one basal cell carcinoma (BCC) are men.
  • When the number of BCCs increases:
    • 62% with 2-5 BCCs are men
    • 80% with 6+ BCCs are men
  • Men account for more than 50% of new cases of invasive melanoma — and almost 2x as many deaths
  • More men than women develop melanoma after age 49

Yikes! The good news is skin cancer is generally a lifestyle disease that can be prevented and treated if detected early – more on that below.

Why Are Men More Likely to Get Skin Cancer?

Women are just plain better. Ha, I’m a little biased. But women are better about sun protection and getting their skin checked more regularly by a doctor.

Up until the age of 49 women are more likely to develop melanoma and many experts attribute that to the use of tanning beds (8 million women vs. 2 million men).

But after age 49 the statistics flip and that’s because as Dr. Julie K. Karen, a clinical assistant professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center, explains:

“Men may not be deliberately tanning as much, but if they go fishing or go out for a run, they tend not to lather up with sunscreen…When men get hot, they take off their shirt, and they just don’t think about the consequences. In general, they’re a little lazier than women are about taking proactive measures to protect themselves from sun damage.”

Additionally women see the doctor more frequently for regular checkups (unless a man has a woman in his life that makes him do it – yup, that’s exactly how it works for my husband and me - Block Island Organics co-founders!). Regular skin screenings are vital for detecting skin cancer early.

Skin Care and Sun Protection for All

So that’s why it’s just as important for men to take of their skin - the sun doesn’t discriminate.

Here’s a quick refresher on the key sun protection habits:

  1. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen or SPF product everyday
  2. Cover up with clothes and accessories
  3. Seek shade during peak sun hours from 10AM to 4PM
  4. Protect children and babies – start good habits early for both boys and girls
  5. Check your skin and visit the doctor regularly

Good skin care is also good life care!

Prevent Skin Cancer

We’re passionate about sun protection, sun safety and preventing skin cancer so check out our Suncare Smarts and Skin Cancer blog series for tips to keep your skin healthy for a lifetime.

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