Data from Cancer Research UK shows that men are less likely to survive malignant melanoma. Judy Johnson reports

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Men are 70% more likely to die from skin cancer than women, new research has revealed.

The figures from Cancer Research UK show that though slightly more women contract the disease each year, 3.4 men per 100,000 die from malignant melanoma compared with just two per 100,000 women.

It's thought that the difference could be that men are often diagnosed when the melanoma is at a more advanced stage. This could well be down to their attitudes when it comes to seeing a doctor - according to research, men are more likely to put off a visit instead of sorting it out straight away.

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Researchers have also suggested the figures could vary so widely because of the location of the disease on the body; men tend to develop it in less visible areas such as the back. However, studies will continue in order to better understand whether there is in fact a biological reason.

The numbers show clearer than ever that prevention is very much better than cure. Men and women should take precautions in the sun by covering up during peak hours, using a good sunblock of at least SPF15 with broad spectrum protection (UVA and UVB) and checking moles regularly  - better to be safe than sorry.