National Men's Health Week starts June 11, topped off by Father's Day on June 17, so it's a good time to give your man some good health advice. "Use sunscreen!" Research suggests that men are more likely to get skin cancer than women.
By Mehmet C. Oz, M.D.
Because your body thinks you're about to starve. Thousands of years ago,
hunger was a caveman's primary source of anxiety. When food became scarce, his
body coped with the resultant stress by releasing steroids, which were absorbed
by his omentum — a fat reservoir that hangs like an apron over the stomach —
and promoting fat storage. And since your body doesn't know the difference
between a demanding boss and a depleted herd of mastodons, your omentum will do
Men get twice the number of skin cancers as women. Is it because men are less likely to protect their skin with sunscreen -- or because they tend to have more outdoor jobs? That may not be the whole story.
Tests of male and female mouse skin have turned up a surprising finding. Researchers in one study found that male skin cells carried fewer protective antioxidants than the female skin cells. Also, when skin cancers appeared, they were more severe in males than in females. Researchers are now investigating whether human skin is really like mouse skin -- but they say that human male skin is more sensitive.
Look for moles frequently to protect your health. The majority of sun exposure happens before age 18, but skin cancers can take 20 years or more to develop. Most skin cancers are curable, and the American Cancer Society advises regular screening.
Always wear sunscreen:
Use broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
SOURCES: WebMD Medical News: "Men's Skin More Sun-Sensitive." U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services: "Sunscreen: How to Select, Apply,
and Use It Correctly." WebMD Medical Reference: "Medical Milestone
Tests in your 40s, 50s, 60s and Up."