The incidence of skin cancer in men has increased by 12% in six years, according to the charity Cancer Research UK. About 6,500 people a year are now diagnosed with the disease, 3,000 of those are men.
One possible reason for the rise of melanomas in men is that they tend to occur more commonly on the back, whereas in women they are often on the lower leg and more noticeable. Up to 77% of cases are caused by exposure to the sun. An increase in foreign travel and outdoor activities such as water sports might also be to blame.
The survival rate for the disease is also worse among men than women over a five-year period. However survival rates from skin cancers are good if it the condition is caught early.
Cancer experts say women have previously had higher rates of malignant skin cancer, probably because of the fashion for suntans. But now they are starting to listen to the warnings about skin cancer, and are protecting both themselves and their children.