New figures show melanoma rates for Victorian men starting to fall

Thursday 3 January, 2013
  • 1,161 Victorian men diagnosed with melanoma (compared to 883 women).
  • Males twice as likely as women to die from melanoma – 217 Victorian men died in 2011 compared to just 105 women.
  • SunSmart launches new campaign targeting Victorian blokes.

Cancer Council Victoria today released new statistics revealing melanoma incidence rates among Victorian men continues to rise increasing by 2.5% per year during the last three decades but over the last two years, a decline across all age groups could indicate the beginning of a downward trend.

SunSmart Manager, Jen Makin, said: "Although we are starting to see promising signs of a decline over the last two years, the figures are still cause for concern. The fact that men are twice as likely as women to die of melanoma shows that they are not as good at protecting their skin in the sun and are presenting themselves to their GP at a later stage."

"We know that some blokes think skin cancer can be cut out and it's no big deal. But one damaged cell from that tan or sunburn can start a melanoma growing, which can quickly spread to your lung, liver or brain."

To remind Victorian men to be sun safe this summer, SunSmart has launched a new radio campaign this summer.

"These ads remind blokes that skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and can be successfully treated, if found early. At any age, covering up and using sunscreen and checking your skin regularly can reduce your risk."

"Enjoy the beach and the backyard barbeques but just to remember to Slip on a shirt, Slop on SPF, Slap on a broad brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on sunnies while they you're at it," said Ms Makin.

"We are also encouraging blokes to get familiar with their skin. Check for new moles, or changes in the shape, colour or size of the ones you already have. See your GP immediately if you notice any changes."

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