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Skin Cancer Death Rates Among Men In Developed Countries Significantly Increased In Past 30 Years

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Compared to women, men are said to be less likely to protect themselves from the sun or to listen to public health warnings. In eight of 18 countries reviewed, data showed that skin cancer death rates among men saw a sharp increase.   ( Pixabay )

Skin cancer death rates are on the rise for males in developing countries. Such problems may arise from exposure to UV rays from the sun, or from artificial sources such as tanning beds.

Skin Cancer Mortality In Males

At a medical conference in Glasgow last Sunday, researchers presented data on skin cancer mortality rates in 18 developing countries, specifically noting how the mortality rates among women are rising more slowly or perhaps even declining as compared to the rates among men.

Specifically, the researchers note that in eight of the countries, the skin cancer death rates among men in the past 30 years had at least doubled. For instance, the skin cancer death rates in Croatia and Ireland roughly doubled, while Spain and Britain had a 70 percent increase, the Netherlands had a 60 percent increase, and France and Belgium had a 50 percent increase.

That said, the countries with the highest mortality rates were not necessarily the ones with the highest increase. For instance, Australia has the one of the highest skin cancer rates and death rates worldwide, with six in 100,000 men succumbing to the disease from 2013 to 2015, but the country only saw a 10 percent increase in skin cancer death rates from 30 years ago.

What May Have Caused The Increase?

It’s not entirely clear why there were discrepancies between the skin cancer death rates among men and women, but the researchers' evidence suggests that it’s because men are less likely to protect themselves from the sun compared to women. That said, the researchers are looking into genetic or biological factors possibly associated with skin cancer, but findings are still inconclusive.

In the United States, which was not included in the study, data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that skin cancer mortality among males has increased by 25 percent. Furthermore, the CDC data also showed that over 90 percent of melanoma cancers are caused by cell damage from sun exposure, as well as other sources of UV radiation such as tanning beds.

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