Australian tennis legends Tony Roche and John Newcombe, who both have battled skin cancer, have joined an initiative to fight the deadly disease as part of the Cancer Council's national week of action.
According to the council's National Sun Protection Survey, every day two men aged 45 or over die of melanoma.
The study found only 24 per cent of men aged 45-69 said they used sunscreen, and the risk of dying of melanoma is double for men compared to women of the same age, yet 12 per cent, or almost 400,000 men, still believe someone who is tanned is healthier.
"The earlier skin cancer is caught, the less likely it is to have spread," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted, the chief executive of Cancer Council Australia, Ian Olver, as saying.
"Getting someone to help check your whole body, including your back, is vital," he added.
Newcombe and Roche said there are simple ways men can decrease the risk of skin cancer.
Two years ago Newcombe found himself battling non-melanoma skin cancer after a surgeon who was about to operate on his hip noticed he had a white spot on the right side of his nose.
It was not the tennis star's first brush with cancer, as a decade earlier Newcombe had a cancerous growth removed from his nose.
"The message is to have regular checks and don't think you're getting away with it," Newcombe said. (ANI)