Men more likely to die from melanoma than women says study

In collaboration with the Press Association

Men in Yorkshire are more likely than women to die from melanoma ? the most malignant form of skin cancer - according to a new study.

Despite the disease affecting more women than men, male mortality rates are higher and the study found that five year survival rates for men are just 70 per cent, compared to 81.5 per cent among women.

Scientists believe that women are more prepared to come forward for testing than men, meaning that tumours are thinner and less well advanced when diagnosed.

The study, by the Northern and Yorkshire Cancer Registry and Information Service, found that even women diagnosed with thicker tumours have a higher survival rates, however.

"There has been a marked increase in incidence of melanoma among Yorkshire men and women but mostly the tumours are caught early when they are still thin," said lead author professor David Forman.

"Proportionally, this means fewer people die from the disease as the earlier the cancer is caught the more successful the treatment can be."

The researchers said that people concerned about skin cancer should get guidance from the Cancer Research UK SunSmart campaign on ways to minimise the risks.

"Increased incidence of skin cancer means it is even more important for people to be aware of the SunSmart code and avoid sunburn at all costs," said professor Forman.

"But the mortality figures suggest that the message about the importance of early detection is beginning to get through to the public although it needs to continue to improve."

The research was published in the British Journal of Cancer, the academic publication of Cancer Research UK.