Skin cancer mortality rates are higher in men than in women. This is only one finding, based on the analysis of 33 countries, that was presented at the National Cancer Research Institute’s annual conference. According to researchers, this is a clear sign that men need to be more involved in the educational and prevention campaign against skin cancer.
Prevention campaign against skin cancer for the male population
Research has found that men are less likely to use sun protection or follow awareness campaigns than women. More research is being done to assess the presence of biological factors that may cause this difference between men and women, but for the moment we do know that the male population must opt for protection. Other alarming data has recently emerged. In the last ten years in Italy, cases of skin cancer have doubled from just over 7,000 in 2006 to 13,800 in 2016. Furthermore, people diagnosed with skin cancer are increasingly younger. Skin cancer is the third most common type of cancer in people under 50. Protection is the key. Too many men, including Italians, do not take necessary precautions when exposed to the ultraviolet rays. Even though much progress is being made in the fight against cancer, prevention is still one of the most powerful weapons available. The following are some simple rules that can be applied:
- Stay out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
- Wear a hat and sunglasses when out in the sun
- Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics for UV protection
- Always wear sunscreen and re-apply regularly
- Avoid or rarely use tanning beds and sun lamps
Examining moles can help detect skin cancer
It’s a good idea to regularly examine moles and periodically undergo screening. Any abnormalities should be immediately evaluated by a doctor. A neoplasia can, in fact, be removed and cured with simple surgery if detected early on. The first sign of skin cancer is the change in appearance of a mole or the development of a new mole. More specifically, the following factors indicate the presence of skin cancer (the ABCDE rule) and can be used as warning signs:
- A is for Asymmetry (a benign mole is usually circular while a melanoma is irregular in shape).
- B is for Border (the edges are irregular, ragged or blurred).
- C is for Color (the color is not the same all over).
- D is for Diameter (the mole increases in size or thickness).
- E is for Evolving (the mole changes in size, shape, or color).
Other warning signs include a mole that bleeds, itches or has a lump or redness beyond the border of the mole. In each of these cases, a doctor must be consulted. A tumor that is detected early on can be more easily cured.
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