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Skin cancer death rates higher in men

Skin cancer death rates are 70% higher in men than in women, researchers have found. 

Men are 70% more likely to die from malignant melanoma than women, despite similar numbers being diagnosed with the disease each year. 

Research conducted by Cancer Research UK and the University of Leeds found than 3.4 men in 100,000 die from malignant melanoma each year in the UK, compared with 2.0 women. 

But rates the serious form of skin cancer are similar, with 17.2 per 100,000 diagnosed compared with 17.3 women. 

Out of the 6,200 men who develop  malignant melanoma each year 1,300 die from the disease. 

Researchers predict that the gap will widen in the future, with death rates from the disease on the increase for men, but remaining stable in women. 

Professor Julia Newton-Bishop from the University of Leeds said: “Research has suggested the difference between the sexes could be in part because men are more likely to be diagnosed when melanoma is at a more advanced stage. 

“But there also seem to be strong biological reasons behind the differences and we're working on research to better understand why men and women's bodies deal with their melanomas in different ways.” 

The key risk factors for melanoma include excessive exposure to UV from sunlight or sunbeds, pale skin colour and a high number of moles, and a family or personal history of the disease.