The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2012

The 2012 edition of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal features medically reviewed, reader-friendly articles such as tanning, the increasing incidence of skin cancer diagnoses among young women, & the prevalence of melanoma among white males over 50.

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Page 53 of 103

LIFESTYLE to check their skin for lesions or have regular skin exams. In many cases, it is a man's wife who has to force her husband to visit a doctor. Unfortunately, the later melanomas (and some squamous cell carcinomas) are detected, the more likely they are to have spread from the original site, making them harder to treat. There are few things more diffi cult for a doctor than having to tell a patient whose "wife made me come in" that he has stage IV melanoma (advanced melanoma that has spread to distant organs). Instead of being treated for a lesion that could have been cured had it been detected and addressed sooner,10,2 the patient is hit with the devastating news that he may have only months left to live. ENCOURAGING SIGNS Despite these statistics, there is hope; evidence suggests that men are not inherently indifferent to skin health or unwilling to take sun safety precautions. They are, however, less informed.11 Whereas many national initiatives and educational programs promote women's health issues, in- cluding such campaigns as "Breast Cancer Awareness Month," few such health awareness campaigns are directed toward men. Educational initiatives may be key: in one study, men (especially those age 50 and above) who received information about skin cancer and were offered free skin screenings were far more likely to visit a doctor for skin exams and to perform skin Did you know? 50+ About half of all melanoma skin cancers occur in men over age 50.1 #5 52 Melanoma is now the 5th most common cancer in men.2 If you're a male baby boomer, you have about twice the risk of dying from melanoma as your female counterparts.2,3 6,060 vs. 3,120 This year, there will be approximately 44,250 new cases of melanoma and 6,050 deaths among men, vs. 32,000 new cases and 3,120 deaths in women.2 References available on p.97. SK IN CANCER FOUNDAT ION JOURNA L self-exams.12 Even if you're not a man over 40 or 50, if you've been ignor- ing sun safety and skin examination, it's time to make a commitment to your skin's health. One ounce of skin cancer prevention is worth a pound of treatment. MICH A EL ST E P P I E, MD, a Mo h s micrographic surgeon, is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology affi liated with the University of Central Florida, and serves as President and Medical Director of Associates in Dermatology, a skin cancer and skin care specialty practice with nine clinics in Central Florida. A member of The Skin Cancer Foundation's Amonette Circle, he frequently lectures at local and national medical conferences. References available on p.97. Sun Protection: the Basics How do we begin to address the gender gap and decrease the alarming melanoma mortality rates among older men? A good place to start is The Skin Cancer Foundation's Prevention Guidelines: seek the shade, avoid tanning and burning; cover up with sun-protective clothing and accessories; apply (and reapply) an SPF15+ sunscreen daily; perform monthly skin self-exams, and have regular screenings by a physician. For the Foundation's complete sun protection guidelines and more information on sun safety for men, including athletes, please visit

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