Men lag behind women in skin cancer knowledge, survey shows

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Schaumburg, IL – When you look in the bathroom mirror in the morning, do you check your skin for signs of skin cancer?

If not, now would be a good time to start. Between one-quarter and one-half of all people lack a basic understanding of how to prevent and detect skin cancer, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology.

Men need to pay particular attention to taking care of their skin and tracking any changes that might be a sign of trouble, AAD states. The academy announced the results of its survey in advance of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month in May.

Highlights from the survey results include:

  • 56 percent of men understand there is no such thing as “a healthy tan,” compared with 76 percent of women.
  • 54 percent of men recognize that obtaining a base tan is not a healthy method to protect your skin from the sun, compared with 70 percent of women.
  • 56 percent of men know skin cancer can affect areas of the skin that usually are not exposed to the sun, compared with 65 percent of women.

More than 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year in the United States. For the past three decades, rates of melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer – have increased. In an effort to combat these trends, the AAD has designed a Looking Good in 2016 website that includes information about types of skin cancer, how to prevent and detect the disease, and how to set up a skin cancer screening.

“It’s important for both men and women to protect their skin from harmful ultraviolet rays and regularly examine their entire body, including hard-to-see areas, for signs of skin cancer,” AAD President Abel Torres, a board-certified dermatologist, said in a press release. “While our survey results indicate that men don’t know as much about skin cancer prevention and detection as women, men over 50 have a higher risk of developing melanoma, so it’s equally important for them to be vigilant about protecting and monitoring their skin.”

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