Men and Melanoma

A disproportionately affected group

man golfing

Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, affects both men and women. However, research shows that men are disproportionately affected by melanoma, with higher incidence rates and lower survival rates compared to women. The American Academy of Dermatology has highlighted this disparity and encourages men to take proactive steps to protect their skin and receive regular screenings for early detection.

One reason for the higher incidence of melanoma in men is their increased exposure to UV radiation, which is a primary risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Men are more likely to work outdoors or engage in outdoor recreational activities without proper sun protection. They are also less likely to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing, such as hats and long-sleeved shirts, compared to women. This increased exposure to UV radiation can lead to more skin damage and a higher risk of developing melanoma.

Another factor contributing to the higher incidence of melanoma in men is the fact that they are less likely to seek medical attention for suspicious moles or other skin lesions. A study published in JAMA Dermatology found that men were more likely than women to delay seeking medical attention for melanoma, leading to later diagnoses and poorer outcomes. This delay may be due to a lack of awareness about the signs of melanoma or a belief that skin cancer is not a serious concern for men.

In addition to a higher incidence of melanoma, men also have lower survival rates compared to women. A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that men had a 60% higher risk of dying from melanoma compared to women, even after adjusting for other factors such as age and stage of the cancer. The reasons for this disparity are not fully understood, but may be related to differences in tumor biology, as well as a lower likelihood of men receiving appropriate treatment.

To address this disparity and improve outcomes for men with melanoma, the American Academy of Dermatology encourages men to take proactive steps to protect their skin and receive regular screenings for early detection. This includes:

Wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen: Men should wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and hats, when spending time outdoors. They should also use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply it every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

Performing regular self-exams: Men should perform regular self-exams to detect any changes in their skin that may be indicative of melanoma. This includes looking for any new moles or freckles, changes in the color or shape of existing moles, or any areas of skin that are painful, itchy, or bleeding.

Receiving regular skin cancer screenings: Men should receive regular skin cancer screenings with a dermatologist, particularly if they have a history of sun exposure or a family history of skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that individuals receive a full-body skin exam every year, or more frequently if they have a history of skin cancer.
Raising awareness: Men can help raise awareness about the risks of melanoma and the importance of sun protection by sharing information with friends and family members, particularly those who may be at higher risk, such as those who work outdoors or have a family history of skin cancer.

In addition to these proactive steps, men should also be aware of the signs and symptoms of melanoma and seek medical attention if they notice any changes in their skin. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that individuals be aware of the ABCDEs of melanoma:

Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half in size or shape.
Border: The edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.
Color: The color of the mole is not uniform and may include shades of brown, black, red, white, or blue.

Diameter: The mole is larger than 6 millimeters, or about the size of a pencil eraser.
Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color, or is exhibiting other symptoms such as itching or bleeding.
If an individual notices any of these signs, they should seek medical attention immediately.

Overall, the higher incidence and lower survival rates of melanoma in men are a cause for concern. However, with proactive measures such as regular sun protection, self-exams, and skin cancer screenings, men can reduce their risk of developing melanoma and improve outcomes if they do develop the disease. By raising awareness about the risks of melanoma and encouraging early detection, we can work to reduce the impact of this deadly form of skin cancer on men and the broader population.

Helpful Tip: Protect Your Skin With UPF Clothing

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation that is emitted by the sun. While these rays are necessary for life, too much exposure can cause damage to the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. One way to protect against UV rays is to wear UPF clothing. In this blog, we will discuss what UPF is, the different types of UPF clothing, why it is important to wear it, and the differences between UPF and SPF.

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. It is a rating system used to measure the level of UV protection provided by clothing. Just like SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is used to measure the level of protection provided by sunscreen, UPF is used to measure the level of protection provided by clothing. The higher the UPF rating, the greater the level of protection against UV radiation. UPF clothing works by blocking or absorbing UV radiation, preventing it from reaching the skin.

There are two types of UPF clothing: treated and woven. Treated UPF clothing is made from fabric that has been treated with a UV-absorbing chemical. The chemical absorbs UV radiation and prevents it from passing through the fabric and reaching the skin. Treated UPF clothing is typically made from synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, and spandex. These materials are lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying, making them ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and swimming.

Woven UPF clothing, on the other hand, is made from tightly woven fabrics that naturally provide UV protection. Examples of woven UPF fabrics include cotton, linen, and denim. These fabrics are typically heavier and less breathable than treated UPF fabrics, making them less ideal for outdoor activities in hot weather.

When choosing UPF clothing, it is important to consider the UPF rating, as well as other factors such as fabric type, color, and fit. In general, darker colors and tighter weaves provide greater UV protection. It is also important to choose clothing that fits properly, as loose-fitting clothing can allow UV rays to penetrate through gaps in the fabric.

Wearing UPF clothing is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it helps to protect against skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, and exposure to UV radiation is a major risk factor for developing skin cancer. By wearing UPF clothing, individuals can significantly reduce their exposure to UV radiation and lower their risk of developing skin cancer.

In addition to protecting against skin cancer, UPF clothing can also help to prevent sunburn and premature aging of the skin. Sunburn is a common side effect of overexposure to UV radiation, and can cause redness, pain, and peeling. Premature aging of the skin is another side effect of overexposure to UV radiation, and can lead to wrinkles, age spots, and a leathery texture. By wearing UPF clothing, individuals can avoid these negative effects of UV radiation and keep their skin looking healthy and youthful.

It is important to note that UPF clothing is not a substitute for sunscreen. While UPF clothing provides excellent protection against UV radiation, it only covers a portion of the body and may not be suitable for all outdoor activities. For this reason, it is important to wear sunscreen in addition to UPF clothing, especially on areas of the body that are not covered by clothing, such as the face and hands.

Another important consideration when it comes to UPF clothing is the difference between UPF and SPF. While both UPF and SPF are used to measure UV protection, they are not the same thing. SPF is a measure of how long a sunscreen will protect the skin from UVB radiation, which is responsible for causing sunburn