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Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, 70,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year, and 3,000 melanoma-related deaths occur each year. Numerous factors may determine a person’s chances of surviving melanoma; recent studies suggest that gender may play a role as well. European studies show that women have a 30 percent greater chance of survival than men and that melanoma is 30 percent less likely to metastasize in women than in men. American studies seem to mirror these findings: in 2011, about 8,800 deaths occurred as a result of melanoma, but only 35 percent of those were women. After both of these studies, researchers are asking: why are women more likely to survive melanoma than men?
Surprisingly, estrogen levels do not necessarily have anything to do with women’s greater ability to survive melanoma. Studies were unable to determine whether estrogen, vitamin D production, testosterone or immune system function had a role in these findings. Researchers are instead suggesting that behavioral factors are play here, namely that women are more likely than men to notice skin abnormalities and seek medical attention.
Whether or not you have any noticeable signs of melanoma, regular examinations are necessary to detect, and if necessary, treat, melanoma and other skin cancers. At Advanced Dermatology, PC, our board-certified dermatologists are highly skilled in detecting and treating skin cancer. Contact us today to schedule your complete body examination.