The number of Queensland men dying from melanoma continues to increase, despite skin cancer being one of the most treatable forms of cancer if detected early.
New figures released by Cancer Council Queensland for Men’s Health Week (June 12-18) show an estimated 220 men die from melanoma each year, an increase from 125 men in 1995.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan urged men to prioritise their health to help save more lives. “One in 10 men will be diagnosed with melanoma before the age of 85 in Queensland – more than 2100 each year,” Ms McMillan said.
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“Melanoma remains one of the most preventable cancers and if detected early, most cases can be treated successfully. Despite this, the rate of deaths from melanoma continue to increase by around one per cent annually for men which is highly concerning.
“Men over 50 continue to be at highest risk of being diagnosed with melanoma and dying from the disease.
“While more research is needed to fully understand why melanoma mortality rates among men have increased, we know that early detection plays a key role in long-term survival.
“It’s vital that men get to know their own skin and if they notice a new spot or lesion, or a spot or lesion change in shape, colour or size, they visit a GP immediately. Queenslanders with fair skin, skin that burns easily, the presence of many moles, and a family history of skin cancer are at greater risk of developing melanoma.”
More than 3600 Queenslanders are diagnosed with melanoma each year, with men making up around 59 percent of those diagnosed.
“Men’s Health Week is a timely reminder to put your health first, take part in recommended screening programs and help reduce your risk of cancer through healthy lifestyle changes,” Ms McMillan said.
“Sun safety continues to play a major role in preventing skin cancer through the use of protective measures when the UV Index is three or above – which is all year round in Queensland.
“We recommend Queenslanders slip on protective clothing, slop on sunscreen, slap on a broad-brimmed hat, seek share and slide on wrap-around sunnies when outdoors.
“One third of all cancers can be prevented by staying SunSmart, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, and participating in recommended cancer screening programs.”
More information about Cancer Council Queensland and staying SunSmart is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.