Skin cancer: early diagnosis is key to survival
The rates of men dying from malignant melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – doubled in the 30 years to 2008, according to Cancer Research UK.
What does this mean? In short, it means that if you’re concerned that you dodgy mole or mark on your skin, you should see your GP.
In the late 70s fewer than 400 (1.5 per 100,000) men died from melanoma but in 2008 more than 1,100 (3.1 per 100,000) men died from the disease.
Melanoma (Skin cancer) is usually caused by over-exposure to the sun making it a largely preventable disease. There’s only one thing between death and survival: early diagnosis.
How to spot a dodgy mole
Learn your ABCD. If you notice any of the following, see your GP without delay.
Asymmetry - The two halves of your mole do not look the same.
Border - The edges of your mole are irregular, blurred or jagged.
Colour - The colour of your mole is uneven, with more than one shade.
Diameter - Your mole is wider than 6mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser).
Other signs of skin cancer include:
- a new growth or sore that won't heal
- a spot, mole or sore that itches or hurts
The other important thing of course is to reduce the risk by covering up in the sun but you knew that bit already.
More women diagnosed but more men die
More women are diagnosed with malignant melanoma - in 2007, 5697 women are diagnosed in the UK compared to 4,975 men - but more men die from it. All told, male malignant melanoma incidence rates are now more than 5 times higher than they were 30 years ago – rising from 2.7 per 100,000 to 14.6 per 100,000.
Get your moles checked out.
- Image and info from Cancer Research UK
Page created on March 3rd, 2011
Page updated on March 3rd, 2011