SKIN cancer deaths among men have risen significantly in ‘wealthy nations’ since 1985, while the mortality rates for women have either increased slowly or gone down.
The reason for the difference is not clear, but it has been suggested that men are less inclined to protect themselves from the effects of the sun, according to experts at the Royal Free London hospital.
According to the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), more than 90 per cent of melanoma cancers are caused by skin cell damage from exposure to the sun or other UV radiation sources, such as tanning beds.
Recent press reports claim that in eight of the 18 countries examined by researchers in America, men’s skin cancer death rates have increased by at least 50 per cent in the past 30 years.
In Ireland and Croatia, figures have practically doubled, while Spain and Britain have seen a rise of 70 per cent, followed by The Netherland (60 per cent) and France and Belgium (50 per cent).
But the countries with the biggest hike in skin cancer deaths did not always have the most elevated mortality rates.
Nearly six out of every 100,000 men lost their lives to the disease between 2013 to 2015, which is twice the second highest rate (of Finland), but represents a 10 per cent in 30 years.
Australia’s public health campaigns in light of its depleting ‘ozone layer’ have been attributed for raising better awareness in the last three decades.
Japan has the lowest melanoma mortality, for both men and women, at 0.24 and 0.18 per 100,000, respectively.
Scientists are looking into whether biological or genetic factors play a role in skin cancer, but findings so far are inconclusive.