The Important Way Women Are Helping Fight Melanoma


couple at beachMelanoma is a deadly skin cancer that can occurs when the cells that give color to your skin (melanocytes) become cancerous. Now researchers looking for how to prevent melanoma have a discovered a new way to increase early and accurate detection. They’re turning to women.

Men over the age of 50 are among those most at-risk for developing melanoma, which can show up as dark spots and lesions on the skin. However, they’re not as likely as women to spot the warning signs of melanoma.

According to a survey by the American Academy of Dermatology, women are nine times as likely to notice melanoma on another person. The researchers, who contacted 1,250 married women between the ages of 40 and 64, say that less than half of the respondents check their partners, however.

The American Academy of Dermatology’s survey showed that less than half of married women between the ages of 40 and 64 help their partners look for signs of skin cancer.

Why Women Should Check

Research showed that aside from women’s propensity to spot signs of melanoma, men conducting an examination were also more likely to spot it when assisted by a woman. Women conducting an examination did not show a similar bump in effectiveness when assisted by men.

This suggests that older men can receive the most benefit from melanoma detection when they’re examined by a woman. For older men, their female partner can help. Considering their increased risk, older men, in general, should still have a regular exam.

Doctor Henry Lim, president of the American Academy of Dermatologists, said that it is important for older men to conduct regular skin self-exams to detect the disease in its earliest stages, when it’s most treatable. He said the getting help from a female partner can be more effective.