Arizona skin cancer rates updated

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- First things first: skin cancer is a big medical issue in Arizona. We said that in an article in the spring of 2011 and it’s the reason we run an UV index much of the year.

We focused on melanoma cancer rates, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

I wrote that article because we have heard for years that “Arizona has the second highest skin cancer rate in the world, behind Australia.”

I still can’t tell you where that statement came from or refer you to any scientific attribution that supports it.

However, it probably doesn’t matter. What does matter is skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with more than one million new cases each year.

We can share with you some of the following information about skin cancer in Arizona, as outlined in a report in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. This report dealt with non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC).

While it reports “actual incidence rates are difficult to estimate because NMSCs are not consistently reported,” the study said Arizona non-melanoma skin cancer rates are “among the highest in the world and are substantially higher than the general US rates.”

This report is summarized in this slide show from the University of Arizona.

Also, we’d like to pass along a couple of other resource websites on skin cancer and the UV index.