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Male skin cancer stats increase12 June 2017Cases of malignant melanoma in South African men have spiralled in the last decade, with the rate of increase six times higher than in women.So says dermatologist and creator of the Crème Classique skincare range, Dr Hardie De Beer. He continues: “Not only are men at higher risk for getting skin cancer, but once the sun damage sets in, men may also be at a biological disadvantage compared to women. “Studies have found that white middle aged men, for example, are 55% more likely to die of melanoma than white women in the same age bracket, even after adjusting for tumour size and location.”De Beer maintains that there are various possible reasons why men are more at risk. “Women have started to take more precautions for themselves and their children against the potentially deadly effects of the sun. Another possible reason for the increase of melanomas in men is that they tend to occur more commonly on the back and so are not as noticeable as other areas of the body. “Men also do not examine their skin as much as women and are less likely to seek medical attention should they find anything out of the ordinary. Adding to this, women are more likelier then men to use beauty products, and SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is now routinely added to moisturiser, foundation, and BB creams, making sun protection an invisible step in the self-care process for many women.”De Beer points out that 90 percent of all skin cancers are curable – if detected early. “This is when the feminine touch is need to enforce a daily skincare routine and encourage men to be more proactive in the fight against skin cancer. “Men generally don't know the importance of wearing suncreen and the very real risks of skin cancer. The truth is, with a few minor lifestyle adjustments, men can easily reduce their skin cancer risk to a minimum, without sacrificing the outdoor activities they love. Wearing broad-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses, as well as a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day and, for extended outdoor activity, a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+, will go a long way to protecting them from the sun.” Skin cancer is the most common cancer in South Africa with about 20 000 reported cases every year and 700 deaths. One in six South African men will get cancer during their lives.