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Women in Iceland a canary in the mine?

An interesting recent study in the British Journal of Dermatology looked at what’s happened to the rates of basal cell carcinoma (BCC), one of the2 most common skin cancers, over the last 30 years in people who live in Iceland.

And while the rate doubled in men over that time, the rate quadrupled in women, making Iceland, the researchers say, the only known country in which women have higher rates of BCC than men.

What’s led to this rapid increase in skin cancer? And why more in women than in men?

These researchers speculate that the rate in both genders may be affected by increased travel, and the reason it may be higher in women is mostly due to women using tanning salons more than men.

They also speculate that the “total tumour burden worldwide might be higher than previously thought” which in English means that skin cancer rates are actually higher world-wide than is commonly believed.

Good reminder to check yourself for presence of skin cancers from time to time.

Better yet, perhaps, have someone you love check your skin for you.