In my experience it is the guys in this world that not the brightest lights on the block when it comes to preventive measures like using sunscreen, wearing hats and not overexposing themselves to the sun. I would put my money on men to be the first sex to be overwhelmed and become extinct due to skin cancer.
Growing up on a golf course or at the lake, I know that sunburns were worn and compared like badges of honor. Losing multiple layers of skin over the course of a summer was a job well done.
Now an alarming study shows that men, for all of their brainless effort for the last 30-40 years, are being left behind when it comes to increases in the number of new melanoma cases. Since 1980 diagnosis rates in younger (15-39 year old) men have remained level while the number of younger women diagnosed has risen 50%. Melanoma is the most dangerous of the three types of skin cancer.
This is especially foreboding since most skin cancer is diagnosed at older ages. There were a couple of factors noted that may have contributed to this disparity in the rise of melanoma cases. First, woman are more likely to wear sunscreen and because of that, may expose themselves to more sun because they feel protected. The other culprit could very well be tanning beds. Not a lot of guys hang out in the UV sandwich looking things.
From a life insurance standpoint melanoma is a serious subject, and for good reason. Unlike its’ less potent cousins basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma kills. Depending on the stage, grade and depth, it could easily be three to five years after treatment before reasonable rates are available and melanoma is one of those health issues that may very well prevent you from ever getting better than standard rates again.
Bottom line. It remains to be seen what these statistics in “younger women” foretell 20 years down the road. Time to rethink our rethinking of our relationship with the sun.