Of the estimated 250 New Zealanders who will die from melanoma in 2009, nearly two thirds of them will be men.
So why more men? There are three main contributing factors:
- Men seem to be less aware of mole changes than women and as a result they often present only when the mole is more advanced. A recent survey in UK also found that almost 60% of men never checked their backs – a common place for melanoma in males. Note to women – check your partner’s back.
- Males tend to be less responsive to public awareness campaigns and are therefore less likely to heed the advice of covering up and applying sun block.
- Men also tend to get more UV exposure because of their jobs.
Apathy is another contributing factor with male melanoma patients visiting their doctor only after being nagged by family members even when they know something is potentially wrong. Some studies suggest that blokes, particularly of the younger generation, will wait up to 12 MONTHS or more before seeking medical advice on a mole that is worrying THEM.
It is also worth mentioning that nearly one third of melanomas found on men are first diagnosed by their partner. So blokes take heed – sometimes nagging is a good thing. If your partner or family member is hassling you about a mole then don’t just disappear into your cave – get it checked.