According to research by Cancer Research UK and the University of Leeds, 3.4 men per 100,000 die from malignant melanoma each year in the UK, compared with 2.0 women. However, incidence rates are similar with 17.2 men per 100,000 diagnosed compared with 17.3 women.
This means that, of the 6,200 men who develop melanoma each year, 1,300 die of the disease, while 900 of the 6,600 women die of the disease, researchers said.
The gap is predicted to widen in the future, with death rates from malignant melanoma on the increase in men but remaining stable for women.
"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," Professor Julia Newton-Bishop from the University of Leeds said.
"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," she said.
"We also know that men and women tend to develop melanoma in different places – more often on the back and chest for men and on the arms and legs for women. If melanoma does develop on your back then it may be more difficult to spot – asking your partner to check your back is a good idea," said Julia.
"One of the reasons for the difference may be attitudes towards seeing a doctor. We tend to be reluctant to 'waste the doctor's time' - men are especially likely to put it off," Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, said.
Since the early 70s, male death rates in men have risen by 185 percent compared to a rise of only 55 percent in women, researchers said.
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, said researchers.


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