Dr, Ellen Marmur of Your Health Now, says, “Men are in serious denial about their skin, absolutely. They go off and play golf and tennis all the time without sunscreen on, but once someone close to them has a skin cancer or something scary, that’s their biggest motivation.”
In fact, the latest research in the journal Cancer shows that men who had skin lesions removed previously, who were concerned about a mole, or who had identified personal risk factors for melanoma were more likely to undergo a whole body skin exam. “Under the age of 40, I’d say 95% of my patients for a skin screening are women and only 5% are men, it’s striking,” Dr. Marmur adds.
But the study also reveals that men, especially those over 50 years old are more motivated to seek screening if they are made aware of the risk factors through public education. “Men come into the office in their 60’s when they’ve already had a skin cancer and then they are actually diligent about their skin cancer screening,” says Marmur.
So when I have a man in their twenties come in and say I have a couple moles I’m here for a skin exam, I applaud them.” Dr. Marmur says she teaches her patients how to do a self check skin exam. Everyone, she says, should go annually to the dermatologist, and learn how to do a self exam, which is easy.
As for Todd, at least he’s coming to the doctor for follow-ups--but he still loves the sun. “Eventually I will wizen up and be the more responsible person,” says Todd. Maybe…when he’s over 50 like the men in the study. Or maybe not.