Rusty Young may be in for the fight of his life--after spending a lifetime in the sun.
About a year and a half ago he noticed something odd on his neck.
His wife Lisa urged him to see a doctor--but he didn’t.
"Well,” Rusty recalled “I thought it was all messed up because my collar was rubbing on it, it's right on the collar line."
Rusty was busy working--and enjoying the fruits of his labor.
After finally going to the doctor he was diagnosed with melanoma and has the scar to prove it.
Researchers at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam looked at four melanoma clinical trials involving more 2,600 hundred men and women--during that time nearly a hundred more men died.
"The Texas sun doesn't discriminate; it hits pretty much everybody equally--but melanoma--that is a different story. According to the study women are 30% more likely to survive melanoma and 30% more likely not to have it recur."
Dr. Jeffrey Lamont is a surgical oncologist at Baylor-Plano and considers the study is an eye opener.
“Despite certain types of melanoma, despite where on the body it is, despite certain features of melanoma, women seem to do better,” Dr. Lamont said. “Now, exactly why that is i think is a little but up in the air."
Researchers suggest that estrogen could be a key player in why men and women deal with melanoma differently but they also say more studies are needed.
Until then Dr. Lamont suggests men should be more proactive about sun protection.
"Maybe you should listen to your wife, you know because men will come in with things circled on them and say, hey, my wife wanted me to look at this," Dr. Lamont said.
Rusty will soon have more lymph nodes removed to make sure the skin cancer hasn't spread.
Future summer days in the sun will be marked with sunscreen--something as a child and adult he rarely used.
"Now,” Rusty said. “I'll use it."