Video: Men need to take melanoma seriously

Melanoma. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/National Cancer Institute

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. It develops in the cells that produce the pigment in your skin that gives it color. It most often occurs on skin that is exposed to the sun, but can develop in your eyes and, rarely, inside your body, including in your nose and throat.

May is Melanoma Awareness Month, and for men, it's especially important. Researchers say men are more likely to die from than women. And by the time a man is 50, the likelihood of developing melanoma increases every year, compared with women.

So how do you prevent it? While the exact cause of all melanomas isn't clear, Mayo Clinic dermatologists do know that limiting your exposure to from the sun and will reduce your risk.

"The main risk factors for melanoma are , amount of sun exposure, high-level sun exposure—meaning sunburns—but also light skin color," says Dr. Aleksandar Sekulic, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist.

The most common places for melanoma to occur are body parts exposed to the sun, including the face, back, arms and legs. The first signs are often a change to an existing mole or an unusual-looking growth on the skin.

"The big problem with melanoma is not only that it starts in the skin, but that it can spread. And it can be deadly," says Dr. Sekulic.

Credit: Mayo Clinic

Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially in the middle of the day to prevent sunburns. Wear outside, such as a broad-brimmed hat, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs, and sunglasses to protect your eyes. And use sunscreen generously with a of 30 or higher on exposed areas of skin. Reapply at least every two hours. And if you're swimming or sweating, use water- and sweat-resistant sunscreen.

"It's very important to check your own skin. If you identify something that is new, that is changing and not resolving with simple moisturization in several weeks, I think it would be good to bring it to the attention of your physician," says Dr. Sekulic.

Provided by Mayo Clinic
Citation: Video: Men need to take melanoma seriously (2022, May 26) retrieved 12 June 2024 from
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