As Men’s Health Week draws to a close, it’s not too late for a reminder that men over the age of 40 are 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed and 2.5 times more likely to die of melanoma than women of a similar age.
And it’s not just melanoma – two in three people who grow up in Australia are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer during their lives, and men make up more than 50% of those cases, probably because they tend to spend more time working outdoors.
Ultraviolet light is the source of nearly all skin cancers in Australia, so Cancer Council NSW is currently reminding men in particular to keep up their sun protection, even in winter.
Across the state, UV levels are high enough to do damage for at least 10 months of the year, and that number is higher closer to the coast and in the north.
Recent Cancer Council research suggests men are not taking the skin cancer risk seriously, with a significantly lower proportion of men using sun protection all year round.
The basic safety message hasn’t changed in years – put something between yourself and the sun, such as a shirt, sunscreen, shade and sunglasses.
Try to keep track of any changes to your skin, including places not normally exposed to the sun, and speak to your doctor if there are any new spots which worry you. Changes in shape, size and spot colour are also important to keep an eye on.
Find out more at the website for Australia’s leading cancer charity, Cancer Council NSW.