Monday, April 28, 2014

Are Single Men at a Greater Risk of Death from Skin Cancer?

According to a recent study conducted by researchers in Stockholm, men with skin cancer who live alone are more likely to die from melanoma than their coupled counterparts.

The researchers studied data on 27,235 patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, between 1990 and 2007. The analysis adjusted for factors such as the characteristics of the tumor, gender, educational level, and the body site where the tumor was found.

Their research revealed that men who lived alone were 31 percent more likely to die from melanoma than men who lived with a partner. Men who lived alone were also 42 percent more likely to have more advanced skin cancer at their first doctor’s visit. This was true for men of all ages.

In comparison, older women living alone also had more advanced skin cancer on average at their first doctor’s visit than women living with partners, resulting in a greater risk for developing melanoma. However, single women were no more likely to have late-stage cancer than those living with partners.

According to the researchers, one possible explanation for this trend is that men and older women who live alone are simply ill-informed about the disease, or simply lack a partner to notice any suspect marks on their skin.

Patients who have advanced skin cancer at the time of diagnosis have a much lower survival rate than those who are diagnosed at an early stage. That’s why is it important to recognize the symptoms of skin cancer and be screened by a dermatologist annually.

Click here for more information about skin cancer. To schedule an appointment with Greenville Dermatology, call (864) 242-5872 today.

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