Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Skin cancer rates rise in older men

Older men need to take skin cancer more critically; new figures reveal an explosion in melanoma rates in Victorian men over 60.

Skin cancer rates have increased by 400 per cent in the past 26 years among males in this age.

Cancer Council's Professor Graham Giles said older men were more at risk of skin cancer because they were born at a time when people were "purposely roasting themselves".

He said, "Men normally have a very poor attitude about their health and women are ones that take them off to see the doctor".

The former construction worker has a six inch mark, but he is lucky to be alive after being diagnosed with melanoma in December.

Doctors removed the lymph nodes under his armpit to prevent the cancer scattering.

Mr Kirby said, he cringes when he sees "young blokes" on building sites topless on hot days.

But Victorian Cancer Registry figures for 2008 found rural men were more than a third more probable to get skin cancer than their city cousins.

The 2217 cases of melanoma recorded across the state in 2008, more than half were men. And, the 279 Victorians who died of the disease in 2008, more than two thirds were men.

Associate Professor Grant McArthur, of Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, said skin cancer's load on Australia's population was "enormous". He said, "We have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.
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