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Men’s Skin Cancer Knowledge Lags Behind Women’s


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American Academy of Dermatology encourages prevention, detection

Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of age, race or gender. When it comes to skin cancer prevention and detection, however, it seems that men need to brush up on their knowledge.

According to a 2016 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) survey:

  • Only 56 percent of men know that there’s no such thing as a healthy tan, compared to 76 percent of women.
  • Just 54 percent of men know that getting a base tan is not a healthy way to protect your skin from the sun, compared to 70 percent of women.
  • Only 56 percent of men know that skin cancer can occur on areas of the skin not typically exposed to the sun, compared to 65 percent of women.

“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,” says board-certified dermatologist Abel Torres, MD, JD, FAAD and AAD president. “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 especially important for them to be vigilant about protecting and monitoring their skin.”

In recognition of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month in May and Melanoma Monday, which was observed on May 2 this year, the AAD is asking everyone to make sure their skin is “Looking Good in 2016” by making a habit of using sun protection and performing regular skin self-exams.

“To keep your skin looking good and reduce your skin cancer risk, the AAD recommends protecting yourself from the sun by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher,” Torres said. “And since skin cancer — including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer — is highly treatable when detected early, it’s important to regularly take a good look at your skin and check it for suspicious spots, asking someone you trust to help you examine hard-to-see areas.”

The AAD highlights the importance of early detection in its skin cancer public service advertisement, “Looking Good.” The humorous ad features a man posing in the bathroom mirror until his wife catches him from the doorway. A female voiceover encourages men to regularly examine their skin and find a partner to help.

“We hope this PSA reminds everyone, especially men over 50, to regularly examine themselves for signs of skin cancer,” Torres said. “If you notice any irregular spots on your skin, or anything changing, itching or bleeding, see a board-certified dermatologist.”

Why are you making sure your skin is “Looking Good in 2016?” Share a testimonial on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #LookingGoodin2016, or via the AAD website SpotSkinCancer.org. There you can also find instructions on how to perform a skin self-exam, download a body mole map for tracking changes in your skin and find free SPOTme skin cancer screenings in your area. SPOT Skin Cancer is the AAD’s campaign to create a world without skin cancer through public awareness, community outreach programs and services, and advocacy that promote the prevention, detection and care of skin cancer.

 

About the AAD and the Survey

The American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 18,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the AAD at 1-888-462-3376 or aad.org.

The survey was conducted by Relevant Research Inc. of Chicago on Jan. 4 and 5, 2016. A total of 1,020 respondents completed the online survey. Data were weighted by sex, age, race/ethnicity and income according to the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for adults ages 18-64. The margin of sampling error at the 95 percent confidence level is ± 3.1 percent.

Courtesy of the American Academy of Dermatology

 

Men’s Skin Cancer Knowledge Lags Behind Women’s


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