Question: What are the key things to know about screening for skin cancer for men?
Answer: A skin cancer screening is very important. Men tend to develop more skin cancers than women. There are about one million cases of skin cancer in this country every year. The bulk of those -- about 75 percent -- are basal cell carcinomas. These cancers can easily be treated but if left unattended they have the tendency to invade and cause major destruction of the local tissue.
The second most common cause is a squamous cell carcinoma -- these account for about twenty percent of cancers and they tend to be localize but can also have distant metastasis -- that is spreading to other parts of the body. The most dangerous, of course, is the melanomas which fortunately make up only 5 percent of skin cancers. Skin cancers, as a rule, are more common in men than in women. One reason for that is that men tend to have more sun exposure with outdoor occupations than women. Another reason is that men tend to avoid using of sunscreen. Some studies have shown that about half of men never use sunscreens under any circumstances. And another reason is that men tend to be diagnosed later, and therefore have greater mortality with these diseases. For melanomas in particular, about 8,500 cases occurred in this case last year, and 65 percent of those occurred in men. So that it is very important to be screened for skin cancer, especially if you are a man who has an outdoor occupation or who does not use sunscreens. Also people who have light complexions, blue eyes, greens eyes, blond hair, are at higher risk.