Hot news: men take risks in sun
Men are more likely to take risks than women in the sun according to new research from Cancer Research UK. OK, so male irresponsibility is not exactly hot news but sunburn is not cool and can kill.
Nine British adults in every ten admit their skin has been sunburnt – with almost half (44%) experiencing pain as result of being in the sun. Men were 50% more likely to forget to protect their skin.
Some sun is good for you but red skin is not. So if you're going to be spending a bit of time outside you need to cover up either with clothing (the best way) or sunscreen - the survey reckons that fewer than half of men (47%) use at least factor 15 sunscreen compared to two thirds (66%) of women.
Strange looking mole
David Denton, 34, from near Halifax in Yorkshire, found out the hard way. He was diagnosed in February 2009 with malignant melanoma on his face after his dentist persuaded him to get a strange-looking mole checked out.
'I never really thought about the possibility of getting skin cancer even though I’m fair skinned and burn easily – and I think many men are the same.
'I’m not a sun worshipper, but as a construction site worker I spend about 40 per cent of my working life outdoors. The company I worked for said we had to wear T shirts and long trousers to help protect our skin, but it was still easy to get caught out and forget the strength of the sun sometimes.'
David had surgery to remove the melanoma from the side of his face leaving him with a large scar and stretched skin. He says now: 'Whatever they might think, men don’t look like wimps if they use sun protection and they certainly don’t look good resembling a boiled lobster.
'I am definitely more aware of protecting my skin from sunburn now, and always remind my mates to put on sunscreen, stick a cap on and keep an eye on their skin.
'I’m lucky that my melanoma was spotted early but the disease can be deadly.' Indeed, despite more women being diagnosed with melanoma, more men die from it. The rates of male deaths from malignant melanoma have doubled in the last 30 years.
Although most people know about the danger of too much sun, the survey showed that 20% of Brits often don’t plan for the weather and get caught without protection if it is sunny.
Caroline Cerny, Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign manager, said: 'There’s a big gap between what people know and how they behave in the sun.'
Five times as many men compared to women said they rely on their partner to remind them to protect themselves in the sun and 75% more men than women said they were not worried about getting sunburnt.
Page created on September 8th, 2011
Page updated on September 8th, 2011