Skin cancer affects quality of life more for women than men

Apr 26, 2011

Women are more likely to experience changes to their quality of life as a result of having skin cancer.

Female skin cancer patients may experience stronger and longer-lasting effects to their quality of life from the disease than male patients, according to a recent study in the Archives of Dermatology.

Researchers surveyed skin cancer survivors in order to determine the impact that melanoma had on their lives for up to 10 years following their diagnosis. They found that of the 562 participants, women were significantly more likely to report both positive and negative effects from their cancer and were also more likely to modify their lifestyle in order to avoid cancer recurrence than men, researchers said.

The negative affects of the cancer carried far beyond issues directly related to health, according to researchers. "A small proportion of individuals experienced difficulties in getting health insurance as a result of their melanoma, but up to a third of the patients experienced difficulty getting life insurance, disability insurance and/or a mortgage," the authors wrote.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, accounting for 75 percent of deaths from the illness, according to the Melanoma Foundation.

This study's findings serve as a reminder of the importance of obtaining life insurance while having good health, because a history of serious illness presents a major obstacle to affordable policies.  

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