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.
Men's Health: Moles, and Skin Cancer
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.
- Use waterproof sunscreen if you will be sweating or swimming.
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before getting into the sun. That helps the skin absorb it, so it's less likely to wash off when you perspire.
- Remember to reapply sunscreen after swimming or strenuous exercise.
- Apply sunscreen often throughout the day if you work outdoors. Wear hats and protective clothing.
Men's Medical Milestone Tests
To keep your body as well-tuned as your beloved car, here are some health tune-ups you need. Take them seriously, and they can save you from future engine troubles.
Age 50: Talk to your doctor about adding colorectal cancer screening and prostate cancer screening to your health tune-up list.