Top Ten States with Highest Projected Melanoma Incidence

Top Ten States with Highest Projected Melanoma Incidence

Almost half of the estimated 60,000 new cases of melanoma projected this year will occur in just ten states. Since the climates in states where melanoma is diagnosed most frequently - California, Florida, and Texas - are hot and sunny throughout the year, the projections from the American Cancer Society are consistent with research showing that about 65 to 90 percent of melanoma cases are linked to UV exposure.
Estimated New Cases of Melanoma by State per 100,000 People*
1. California- 6,680
2. Florida- 4,380
3. Texas- 3,860
4. Pennsylvania- 3,120
5. New York- 3,070
6. Ohio- 2,390
7. New Jersey- 2,210
8. Michigan- 2,080
9. Illinois- 2,050
10. Massachusetts- 1,820
As expected, states at higher latitudes, which have less sun exposure and cooler temperatures, have the lowest projected incidence of melanoma. These states include: Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, Vermont, South Dakota, Delaware, and Montana. The only surprise on these lists would be Hawaii, which surprisingly has a low incidence of melanoma.
"While it's a hot tropical climate, it's likely that Hawaii's melanoma incidence is low because the state has a large percentage (58%) of Asian Americans, who have a relatively high amount of the sun-protective pigment melanin in their skin," said Steven Wang, MD, member of The Skin Cancer Foundation's Photobiology Committee and Director of Dermatologic Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New Jersey.
Melanoma risk factors include: light skin color, family and/or personal history of skin cancer, presence of atypical moles and freckles and history of severe sunburn occurring early in life. No matter where you live, it's important to be aware of these risk factors and take the necessary measures to prevent skin cancer. The Skin Cancer (BOLD)Foundation's Skin Cancer Prevention Tips:
* Seek the shade, especially between 10am andpm.
* Do not burn.
* Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
* Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
* Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) total of sunscreen to all exposed areas, 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
* Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
* Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
* Examine your skin from head-to-toe every month.
* See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
*Cancer Facts & Figures, 2007. American Cancer Society

The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer. Visit www.skincancer.org, or call 1-800-SKIN-490.