herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Men warned to cover up as skin cancer rates up 29pc

Health

Skin cancer, light micrograph
Skin cancer, light micrograph

With the sunny weather this week, men who work outdoors are being urged to avoid over-exposure to harmful sun rays as rates of skin cancer soar.

New figures show skin cancer cases in men have risen by 29pc over the past seven years, according to the Vhi.

It's one of the most common cancers found in men, and last year some 4,036 male Vhi customers were treated for the condition, at a cost of €8.7m.

The health insurer said nearly 2,000 of its male customers were treated for prostate cancer in 2014 at a cost of over €20m.

More than 27pc of prostate cancer patients presenting for treatment were from Dublin with 544 men, followed by Cork with 268 men and Galway with 136 men.

Overall, almost 11,800 male Vhi customers were treated for cancer at a cost of €97.5m, the figures revealed.

Meanwhile, the number of men being treated for lung cancer is steadily diminishing.

Last year, some 431 male Vhi customers presented for treatment, compared with 510 in 2008, which represented a reduction of 15pc.

Dr Bernadette Carr, Medical Director of Vhi Healthcare, said that although the incidence of cancer in Ireland for most types is growing, the survival rates are also improving due to a number of factors.

Vigilance

"Detection at earlier stages through increased awareness and vigilance, along with improvements in how cancer is treated is resulting in better outcomes for patients," Dr Carr said.

Among the common forms of cancer affecting men last year were:

• Colorectal - 1,075 men treated at a cost of €17m.

• Lymphoma - 581 men treated at a cost of €9.7m.

• Testicular - 86 men treated at a cost of €0.44m.

The figures were released to mark its sponsorship of the Blue September campaign, which raises awareness for male cancer.

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