Men's Health: Skin Cancer

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Studies show that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, but did you know men are often more likely to be at risk? In populations younger than 50 years of age, incidence rates of skin cancer are higher in women than men, but by age 65, they are twice as high in men as they are in women and by age 80 they are three times as high in men.

Here are a few tips to help your partner protect their skin and stay healthy all summer long:

  • Make sure they start each day that they will be working outside by applying sunscreen to all exposed skin, including face, neck, ears and arms.
  • Keep SPF 30 or higher on hand during all months of the year, not just the summertime. .
  • When purchasing sunscreen, make sure it is broad-spectrum and protects against UVA and UVB radiation. Be sure to remind your partner throughout the day to reapply at least every two hours.
  • Plan outdoor activities before 10:00 am or after 4:00 pm since UV radiation typically peaks in the midday hours.
  • Recommend a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and even a long sleeve t-shirt. It’s even smart to have a lip balm with at least SPF 15 in it to protect lips.

It is also a good idea to help your partner check for signs of cancer. Look for any changes in skin and any irregularity in current moles or marks on their skin, as well as asymmetry in moles. Questions to ask while you check:

  • Does one half of the mole or birthmark not match the other side?
  • Are the edges irregular or ragged?
  • Is the color not the same all over?
  • Is the spot larger than the eraser of a pencil or is it growing?

If you notice any irregularities, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to get it checked out.

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