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Men’s Health & the Truth About Skin Cancer

Men’s Health & the Truth About Skin Cancer Summer is almost here! Who doesn’t want to be outside, walking, gardening, biking, golfing, swimming, playing pickle ball or just barbecuing in the backyard?

Getting outside for even a brief period each day is a vital part of any healthy lifestyle, and exercising outside is beneficial both physically and mentally. However, extended time outdoors can make you vulnerable to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can lead to skin cancer.

Dr. Tran from Village Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery wants to lessen the incidences of melanoma through educating the community he serves.  He agrees with the findings in a recent article provided by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Why Do Men Have Worse Melanoma Survival Than Women? Is it Behavior, Biology, or both?
“In a study of 227 men older than or equal to age 40 with newly diagnosed melanoma, …10 nearly one-third of melanomas in men occur on the back, are likely to be thicker and are often missed by patients. Therefore, promoting regular examination of the back by older men, their spouses, and their health providers may prove beneficial in reducing melanoma mortality in this age group.

Female partners may play a critical role in increasing melanoma awareness in the older male population by encouraging routine skin checks during primary medical care exams and assisting with skin self-examination practices.

Regardless of whether the cause of observed differences in melanoma survival between men and women is predominantly behavioral, biological, or a combination of factors, …men of all ages should seek prompt medical attention for any changing moles or skin lesions that look different from the rest. Early detection of melanoma can be lifesaving.”

Sunscreen: Researchers are still currently discovering new findings on this important topic.  For the most part, some men are a little more apprehensive about wearing sunscreen, and if they do, they rarely reapply it every two hours, which is recommended by the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology).  Men seem to spend more time outdoors than most women and therefore are soaking up more of the harmful UV rays.

Biological: There is also a genetic factor that plays a part in this phenomenon; Men’s skin contains more collagen and elastin, which makes it thicker.  Their skin doesn’t have the same visceral fat layer under its surface like women’s skin does, and this seems to be a major reason why men’s skin absorbs more harmful UVB and UVA rays.

Key Points For Sun Safety

1. Get a skin cancer screening at least once a year

2. Use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum (UVA/
UVB) sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.  Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) 30 minutes before going outside.  Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or sweating

3. Wear a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15

4. Wear a hat – every 2 inches of brim on a hat reduces your skin cancer risk by 10%

5. Wear clothing to protect exposed skin

6. Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and    UVB rays as possible

7. Seek shade especially during midday hours – 10 am and 4 pm

8. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) make you extra-sensitive to the sun. If you use such medications for your aches and pains, be vigilant about protecting your skin.

Keep in mind that the dangerous days aren’t just the ones that are hot and sunny. Up to 80 percent of UV rays can penetrate clouds. You will burn just as easily on those overcast days when you’re less likely to be concerned with the sun’s damaging effects.

A small investment of your time can help save your life. On average skin cancer screenings take about 10 minutes, which could potentially save your life.

On a regular basis, you should have a screening at least once a year. And, because some forms of skin cancer grow very rapidly (like melanoma) if you are experiencing any new types of lesions, bumps, moles that are of concern, you should schedule a dermatology appointment immediately.

Sources:
© 2016 The Skin Cancer Foundation, New York, NY
10.    Geller AC, Johnson TM, Miller DR, et al. Factors associated with physician discovery of early melanoma in middle-aged and older men. Arch Dermatol2009; 145:409-14.

Dr. Tran has dual-board certification in Dermatology  and Mohs Micrographic Surgery . He is a fellow of
the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology and American Academy of Dermatology &  ASMS.He did his undergraduate work at Case Western Reserve University, and received his medical degree from Ohio University. Dr. Tran completed his residency and post-graduate training in medical and surgical dermatology at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, where he served as Chief Resident.

Dr. Tran has been published in leading dermatology journals and has presented at local, national and international on skin cancer & cosmetic reconstruction at national conferences for the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology. He is renowned for his work in Mohs micrographic surgery and facial reconstructive repair for skin cancer surgery, and his practice fostered the development of the Il Duomo Sim Skin model.

Dr. Tran was nationally recognized with Most Compassionate Doctor and Patients’ Choice Award, as a reflection of the high quality of care that he and his staff provide.

Villages Dermatology
352-751-6565
1950 Laurel Manor Drive
Building 220—Suite #224, The Villages, FL 32162

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