Deconstructing skin cancer bollocks is painfully easy

Here we go again, courtesy of Cancer Research UK: ‘men’s skin cancer doubles in thirty years’.

Why might this be – blokes becoming sun-worshippers? Hole in the ozone layer? Or, um, men living longer?

Underneath all today’s lurid screaming headlines (exactly the same ones we had last year at this time) in tiny type are the words, ‘especially in elderly men’. Which is also a tad economical, because it is almost entirely among older men.

The rate has also doubled among women….who are supposed to be so much better at putting that sunscreen on whereas men don’t bother especially with their backs and oh, aaaaaaaaaaaarg.

Two initial things here. One, put factor 10 or higher on and you’ll almost certainly be fine. And two, the number of men over 65 has risen by almost a quarter in the last thirty years.

And now for the clincher. The skin cancer death-rate has gone up by two people per 100,000. But the number of people aged over 80 had risen by 1.2 million. Doesn’t sound like quite such an epidemic in that context, does it?

This is cynical stuff from CRUK. It’s aperture marketing: there’s a hot summer about to get going, so let’s raise awareness of skin cancer by putting out the same old bollocks we put out every year.

And it really is bollocks – completely needless scaremongering. In the UK, the average person incurs 60% of lifetime medical expenses in the last six months of their mortal existence…..because they’re dying. We are all dying of something, and the longer we all live, the more of us are going to die of genetic breakdown in one form or another. This is what happens to machines lasting 90 years which were only supposed to last 40.

The real problem we face is too many old people as it is. Within a decade, having nowhere to live is going to be a much bigger fear for old folks than skin cancer. Unless you lie in the Nevada desert all day covered in olive oil and lemon, the chances are still 37,000-1 against most people getting sun-related cancer.

The ‘doctors say’ spots in the media are of far greater concern, and highly infectious.

‘Short life means early death say doctors’. Give me strength.