A HALIFAX man is backing calls for better sun protection to prevent cancer.
David Denton, 34, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma on his face in February 2009.
“I never really thought about the possibility of getting skin cancer even though I’m fair skinned and burn easily – and I think many men are the same,” he said.
“I’m not a sun worshipper, but as a construction site worker I spend about 40 per cent of my working life outdoors.
“The company I worked for said we had to wear T shirts and long trousers to help protect our skin, but it was still easy to get caught out and forget the strength of the sun sometimes.”
David had surgery to remove the melanoma from the side of his face leaving him with a large scar and stretched skin which he says looks “as if he’s been glassed”.
A YouGov survey, commissioned by Cancer Research UK, as part of its SunSmart campaign, has found that 90 per cent of British adults have been sunburnt.
Shockingly only 47 per cent of men use sunscreen of at least factor 15 compared to 66 per cent of women.
Men are also less likely than women to protect their skin in other ways – like spending time in the shade or cover up with clothing.
David said: “Whatever they might think, men don’t look like wimps if they use sun protection and they certainly don’t look good resembling a boiled lobster.
“I am definitely more aware of protecting my skin from sunburn now and always remind my mates to put on sunscreen, stick a cap on and keep an eye on their skin.
“I’m lucky that my melanoma was spotted early but the disease can be deadly.”
Over the last 25 years in Britain, rates of malignant melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer - have risen faster than any of the most common cancers in males and females.
Every year, around 400 men are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in Yorkshire and the Humber and around 490 women.
For further information on sun protection you can visit www.cancerresearchuk.org or call the charity on 020 7121 6699.