Urgent heatwave warning to men as risk of killer disease in blokes surges 219% | The Sun

MEN have been urged to take care during the heatwave as cases of a killer disease have surged by 219 per cent.

It's estimated that six men a day die of melanoma skin cancer – equating to 1,400 a year.

Rates have been increasing since 1973 and compared to women, men are 69 per cent more likely to die from the illness.

While rates have decreased by 9% for women in the last decade, things haven’t yet improved for men.

As temperatures continue to rise in the UK, experts have warned men of the potential dangers of sun exposure.

Medics warned that skin cancers are more often found on men’s torsos than on other body parts –which is likely due to going shirtless.

This, they said, could make it harder to spot changes to the skin as if they are on the back – you won't be able to see them.

It could also contribute to late diagnosis of illness.

Chief executive of Cancer Research, Michelle Mitchell, said:  “These figures showing that six people die of melanoma every day in the UK really drive home the importance of sun safety.

"We all need to take steps to protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Getting sunburnt just once every two years can triple your risk of skin cancer.  

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“This weekend remember to spend some time in the shade, cover up with clothing and regularly apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and 4 or 5 stars.

"And if you notice any unusual changes to a patch of skin or nail, don’t put off telling your doctor.

"In most cases it’s not cancer, but if it is, an early diagnosis can make all the difference.” 

Research from Nivea Sun recently found that while 84 per cent of men know sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer, less than a quarter said they always protect themselves from it.

When giving reasons as to why they didn't use protection such as sun lotion and hats, 25 per cent of men said they didn't feel the sun was strong enough.

This is while 23 per cent said they didn't really think about it.

Sun soothers: What to do if you have sunburn

You’ve slathered on the SPF, put your best straw hat on and you’ve still managed to get burnt.

loydsPharmacy Pharmacist Anshu Kaura said taking care of your skin after you've been in the sun should be a vital element of your routine.

"Using an aftersun or a rich moisturiser will help reduce and prevent sun damage whilst re-hydrating dry, damaged skin.

"You should use after sun after any sun exposure, whether you have signs of damage or not", Anshu said.

Here are some tips for coping if you're burnt:

  • Use products with aloe vera which will naturally cool stressed skin
  • Use high moisturising products and as anti-reddening lotion
  • Take a cold shower – this will provide instant relief
  • Drink plenty of water to keep dehydration at bay
  • Wear clothes that cover your burnt bits
  • Make sure the sunlight isn't hitting your skin through windows – try closing the blinds 

The medics highlighted that there could be a number of reasons as to why rates in men have risen so sharply in recent years.

One, they say, could be the rise in package holidays and the cheapness of flights – allowing people to jet abroad to hotter climates more often.

Even during cloudy weather the sun can cause damage – and anyone can get sunburn.

It’s important to remember that the sun can cause this damage to skin cells even in cloudy weather and that anyone can get a sunburn.

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The experts said you should always enjoy the sun safely and the offered their top tips on how to do just that.

  • Seek shade: especially between the hours of 11am-3pm in the UK, when the sun is strongest 
  • Cover up with clothing: wear a shirt, hat and sunglasses 
  • Apply sunscreen: regularly and generously, applying one with at least SPF 15 and 4 or more stars.

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