The findings are worrying as the lifetime risk of melanoma for men is higher than in women, says the MNC.
Furthermore, men will account for 56 percent of all new cases of melanoma in 2011 and 62 percent of deaths, according to the Canadian cancer registry database at Statistics Canada.
4% use sunscreen
The survey also found that men are three times less likely than women to protect their skin from the winter sun as just four percent of the male population wears sunscreen in winter, which puts them at greater risk of developing skin cancer.
“Many Canadians are unaware that winter sun is strong enough to put their skin at risk of damage. In Canada the sun is strong enough to cause skin cancer,” said Dr. Teresa Petrella, medical oncologist at Odette Cancer Centre.
“UV reflection from snow and ice should not be underestimated and Canadians need to take steps to protect themselves before it's too late.”
Lax male attitudes
According to the survey, men have a more relaxed attitude to sun awareness and protection. Men are also more likely than women to accurately identify melanoma as skin cancer, wear sunscreen regardless of season, and consider environmental effects as factors in the changing intensity of UV rays.
“Over exposure to winter sun is dangerous because UV radiation can’t be seen or felt,” said Annette Cyr, chair of the MNC.
“UV radiation levels are influenced by the sun’s elevation, cloud cover, altitude and reflection – not temperature of the air, which means that sunscreen is required year-round. If skin is left unprotected, the risk of melanoma increases.”