One of the most common forms of cancer reported in men is Skin Cancer, and if anyone has more than 5 bad sunburns in their life, the chances of getting skin cancer are doubled. The results are staggering, that one in five Americans will get skin cancer , one of the most preventable cancers The big question is, even though it is widely known how to not get sun cancer, why is it that people still not protect their skin from the effects of the harsh sun?
In particular, men are the worst culprits. A recent study out of the University of Texas states that only 34% of men actually use sunscreen when going outside in the sun. Why do they not concern themselves about protection from the sun? This is even more shocking when a reported 78% of women do wear sunscreen to protect themselves from the midday sun. It would be easy to say that men have more outdoor jobs, where they are in the sun all day as compared with women who in the past have worked indoors, but this is not true today. More women are working and playing outdoors but still they are more likely to wear sun screen and cover up.
One of the major differences in men and women in the problem of getting the males to wear protection, is that women are generally more concerned about their appearance than men are. Women are inundated with the message of younger, softer skin, where as men often think that it is masculine to have tanned weathered faces. Plus their role models are such as Clint Eastwood, with his craggy, handsome but darkly tanned face.
Women also more often wear some type of skin cream that they put on in the morning, and often the manufacturers of this skin cream have included some type of SPF in it, giving them protection that they really don’t even have to think about.
Hopefully, men will get smart and realize that putting on a cream in the morning is not only good for their skin, but can also prevent the epidemic of skin cancer that affects them. There are many creams now that are none scented and although the advertisements are generally geared towards woman, these are ideal for men to use. If they can get into the habit of using sunscreen, not just on their faces but their bodies, the number of males that will get skin cancer will decrease dramatically.
There are certain times when it is wise to stay out of the sun, certainly between 11 A.M. to 3P.M. and if they have to go out during these times, they should make sure they are covered with a collared shirt, pants and always a hat. Regular use of a sun block of SPF 30 or more is recommended, and all parts of the skin that are exposed to the sun should have sun block on it. This includes the face, hands, arms and legs, but also the back of the neck, the ears, and especially the top of the head on balding men. Reapplication after swimming or sweating should be second nature.
With a little bit of common sense, Skin Cancer, one of the fastest growing and totally preventable cancers can be avoided and hopefully one day, eliminated.