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Male deaths from melanoma double in 30 years

1st June 2010

The number of men dying from the deadliest form of skin cancer - malignant melanoma - has more than doubled over the last 30 years.

New figures published by Cancer Research UK revealed over 1,100 men a year, or 3.1 in 100,000, currently die from the condition, growing from less than 400 (1.5 per 100,000) in the late 1970s.

In comparison, the mortality rate in women showed a much less rapid growth, increasing from 1.5 per 100,000 to 2.2 in 100,000 over the same period.

The report also showed that the incidence of malignant melanoma in men has risen fivefold since the 1970s, growing from 2.7 per 100,000 to 14.6 per 100,000 in the last 30 years.

Caroline Cerny, manager of Cancer Research UK's SunSmart programme, commented: 'Even though more women are diagnosed with the disease, more men die from it. This suggests that men are either not aware of skin cancer symptoms or are ignoring them and putting off going to see their GP.'

Cancer Research UK claims that men are most likely to develop malignant melanoma on their chest or back, while women are at greatest risk on their legs.

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