Doctors: More men being diagnosed with skin cancer in Lowcountry
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) —
Doctors in the Lowcountry are seeing a troubling trend more men are being diagnosed with skin cancer.
A new survey by the American Academy of Dermatology indicates men don't know as much about skin cancer as women.
At 74, Bob Brodsky said he's finally listening. Brodsky recently received his fourth skin cancer diagnosis.
"The first time I came in, I got a reality check," he said.
It's something he never imagined would happen to him, but it's also not surprising.
"I spent a lot of time in the sun as a youngster, enjoyed the beach, perhaps too much as an adult," said Brodsky. "I spent a lot of time coaching football in the outdoors, developing more sun damage, which didn't become apparent until I was in my 60s."
Between college and serving in the military, Brodsky said protecting his skin was not a high priority.
His dermatologist, Dr. Marguerite Germain, said he's not the only one.
"I've kind of always seen more men with skin cancer," said Germain. "Men just really are more non-compliant with sun protection. This is what I see every day in my clinic."
Germain said men over 50 are twice as likely to die from melanoma than women.
"Only 21 percent of males said that they would go to a medical professional to get a full skin exam; only 31 percent said that they knew how to do self-exams," said Germain. "Over 70 percent said they did not know the signs of skin cancer."
Since his first diagnosis, Brodsky said he now understands his past is catching up with him.
He hopes others will realize the same.
"I obviously know enough now to use sunscreen and stay out of the sun in middle of day, all the lessons we've been trying to teach people," said Brodsky. "I wish I had known this way back when I was younger and we wouldn't have this problem."
Germain says anything on a person's skin that's changing, growing, itching, or bleeding should be checked out immediately. She says anything diagnosed early is highly treatable.