Melanoma Awareness

Why Are So Many Kiwi Men Dying Of Melanoma?

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Team MoleMap Creator
Posted 07/06/18
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Recent statistics show that, in New Zealand, more men die of melanoma than women every year1 (around 56%), and that this percentage is increasing, especially in males aged 45 plus.1

On average, 300 New Zealanders die from melanoma every year2 (this is almost as high as the average road toll)3 – which means that around 170 men are dying from this deadly but largely preventable form of skin cancer, every year.

So why is this happening?

Traditionally, this is partly because men don’t tend to have regular check-ups, either with their GP or a professional skin check service.

In general, Kiwi men still tend to have a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude and aren’t very proactive about looking after their skin health. Melanoma can progress very quickly, so by the time men realise a mole could be a skin cancer, it’s often very advanced. Whereas if they were seen a few months earlier, melanoma could have been detected in its early stages – while it was still treatable.4

While melanoma can occur at any time, the risk increases with age, which helps explain why there’s such a prevalence of melanoma in men aged 45 or older. Plus, men usually tend to be less vigilant than women about skin protection – they’re less likely to wear sunscreen or to cover up when they’re in the sun. And of course, many men have jobs involving working out in the elements, or they play a lot of outdoor sport, like golf or surfing.

Early detection is the best protection

While these statistics are pretty grim, the good news is that melanoma can be beaten – as long as it’s found early enough4. More Kiwis are getting the message to ‘slip, slop, slap and wrap’, but they also need to ‘map’ regularly.

While 56% of those dying of melanoma are men, only 41% of the patients at MoleMap are male. That’s why we recommend having a thorough, professional skin check every year – especially if you’re fair skinned, if you’re over 45 and/or if you’re male.

Your skin is always changing. That’s why MoleMap combines advanced technology with skin cancer expertise to track those changes and spot melanoma in its early stages – while it’s still treatable.4

And as June is officially Men’s Health Month, we are offering $50 off MoleMap services* for men. To get advantage of this offer, simply book an appointment online to be seen before 30th June and use the promo code ‘MAN UP’.

To find out more about our services, please visit our services page.

References: 1. www.melanoma.org.nz/be-informed/understanding 2. MOH (2017) Cancer: New Registrations and Deaths 2015. 3. www.transport.govt.nz/research/roadtoll 4. MoleMap Internal Audit. Benign to malignant ratio from a sample of 700 recommended excisions from 2010-2013. Sensitivity from documentation of reported missed melanomas. *Terms and conditions apply. Please visit www.molemap.co.nz/termsandconditions to learn more.