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Men ignoring skin cancer risk

16th May 2006

The majority of men are leaving themselves open to skin cancer, according to new research.

A study by Cancer Research UK indicates that almost 60 per cent of men never check their backs for changes to moles or new moles.

The back is one of the most common areas for men to develop skin cancer.

A further 30 per cent said they would not visit a doctor were they to notice a change and almost 70 per cent of respondents believed they were not in danger of developing the condition.

Dr Catherine Harwood, consultant dermatologist at Cancer Research UK, commented: "Men seem to be generally less aware of mole changes than women and as a result they often present when the melanoma is already quite thick.

"Detecting a melanoma in its early stages means earlier treatment with a much better chance of survival."

In addition, those who regularly work outdoors are thought to be at increased risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer, which although less dangerous than the melanoma variety, must nonetheless be treated.

Instances of melanoma in men have risen by 42 per cent during the past ten years.