Men’s mortality rates from skin cancer have skyrocketed around the world over the last 30 years, according to a study presented Sunday at the 2018 NCRI Cancer Conference in Scotland.
Thirty-three countries from Europe to North America and Australasia among the host of developing nations worldwide show an increase in fatalities in men due to Melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer, the report said.
Lead researcher, Dr. Dorothy Yang from the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, said experts, “wanted to conduct an up-to-date analysis of recent melanoma mortality rates across the world to try to understand these patterns, and whether new diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies are having any effect."
Using data from the World Health Organization from 1985 to 2015, scientists found that in eight of 18 countries, fatal melanoma cases in men has increased by 50 percent. While, in Ireland and Croatia, the number of deaths has doubled. In the last three decades, Spain and Britain have experienced a 70 percent jump.
Japan was at the lowest rate with only 0.24 fatalities per 100,000 male patients.
"The major risk factor for melanoma is overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, either from sun exposure or from using sunbeds. Despite public health efforts to promote awareness of melanoma and encourage sun-smart behaviors, melanoma incidence has been increasing in recent decades," she said.
Yang said research is underway to determine the biological differences that put men at a higher risk of fatality from melanoma than women, although further studies into gender disparity are necessary.
"There is evidence that suggests men are less likely to protect themselves from the sun or engage with melanoma awareness and prevention campaigns,” Yang said.
More effective strategies for early diagnosis and successful treatment are also needed to prevent a continual rise in deaths, said Poulam Patel, chairman of the NCRI Skin Cancer Clinical Studies group.