Jimmy Buffett died of skin cancer. Men are more likely to do this.

“Margaritaville” singer Jimmy Buffett died this week after a long battle with Merkel cell carcinomaa rare but aggressive form of skin cancer.

Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer However, there is a gender gap in the United States: In other words, men are far more likely to be diagnosed than women. You are too more likely to get melanoma, a form of skin cancer that can spread to other parts of the body and cause death. That’s true anyway Melanoma is very treatable, especially if caught early. They also have a higher rate of non-melanoma skin cancer Buffett’s Merkel cell carcinoma as well as basal cell carcinoma And squamous cell carcinoma.

Why are men more prone to skin cancer?

There are several factors that make men more susceptible to skin cancer:


Behaviors may play a role: Loud the RealSelf Sun Protection Survey 2019, Women are significantly more likely to wear sunscreen every day, which can protect against skin cancer. They also tend to spend less time outdoors.

“I find that because women are used to taking care of their skin from a young age, they’re more likely to use UV protection,” says the New Yorker Dermatologist Howard Sobel previously told Yahoo Life. “In our society, it is normal for women to take preventive measures against skin aging and use skin care products that include: [sunscreen] and other anti-aging ingredients.”

It’s worth noting that while the survey found that men may use sunscreen less often than women, it also provided some positive news — that men are more likely to reapply sunscreen when they do wear it. But it could also be that they just get it more sun than women. A 2022 Opinion poll out of Building Ha project examining everyday health behaviors found that women are much more likely to be indoors than men: the majority (51.8%) of men spend an hour or more a day outdoors – compared to just 30.6% of women .

“It has also been hypothesized that other behavioral factors may influence men’s increased susceptibility to melanoma, such as … spending more time outdoors to work or relax,” says Dr. Jesse Miller Lewintold Health of the problem. “For both men and women, we know that the risk factor that can be mitigated to help prevent melanoma is sun exposure and protection. Avoid the sun during peak hours – 10am to 2pm – sit in the shade.” [and] Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher will help protect us from the harmful effects of the sun.”


The risk of developing skin cancer is higher in men and women in different locations, according to a 2020 study published in JAMA dermatology. Men are more likely to develop melanomas on the head, neck and trunk, while women are more likely to develop melanomas on the legs. It’s possible that men are less likely to notice signs of skin cancer than women because of the location.

While this difference in how skin cancer develops could be at least partly due to clothing preferences, the dermatologist says Aanand Geria Yahoo Life previously said that women “genetically tend to have more moles on their legs, while men tend to have more moles on their heads, necks and torsos.”


Genetics may also play a role in why women fight skin cancer better than men. New York-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner previously told Yahoo Life, “The hormone estrogen is thought to actually increase the body’s immune response against melanoma.”

In addition, male skin has different properties than female skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology AssociationMen have thicker skin with less fat underneath, as well as more firming collagen and elastin — properties that research has found make skin more likely to be damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

take that away

Although men may be at higher risk of skin cancer, protecting themselves from the sun is important for everyone, regardless of biological sex.

DR Michele Farber of Schweiger Dermatology Group previously told Yahoo, “I always tell patients that the best sunscreen is what they’re going to wear. A lot of fun sunscreens are more portable, easier to apply, or more exciting to use, so they encourage sunscreen use.” That said, “It’s important to use enough sunscreen to ensure adequate coverage and a product with at least SPF 30 – the higher, the better – and a wide range to choose from.”

Knowing your body is also important, explained Dr. Shari Lipner previously told Yahoo Life. “Perform skin self-exams monthly and see a board-certified dermatologist for new or changing skin patches,” she said.


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