Posted by Camille Brooks & filed under .

skin cancer Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with over 3 million Americans being diagnosed each year. Skin cancer can affect anyone regardless of skin color, but it is more common in those with lighter skin.

What does this have to do with the 50 states? Based on a study conducted by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, we’re looking at the states where skin cancer diagnoses are the most and least common and seeing what the differences are. A number of geographical factors are at play – UV radiation is stronger when it has less atmosphere it has to travel through. Therefore, states at higher elevations are considered to be at a higher risk. States with higher proportions of white residents have more cases.

The Least Likely

Our home state of Texas has the LEAST number of skin cancer diagnoses in the nation! Caucasians make up 42% of our state’s race demographic – one of the lowest percentages in the nation. The average elevation in Texas is only 1,700 feet, with the highest point being 8,751 feet.

The Most Likely

Utah’s average elevation is over 3X that of Texas, coming in at 6,100 feet. Right along the Rocky Mountains, Utah has a high elevation, a thin atmospheric composition, and the population is 79% white. Combining all of these factors cements Utah as the most likely place to develop skin cancer.

The CDC factors in the availability of high quality dermatologists and specialists when determining each state’s skin cancer risk factor. There are simply more dermatologists available per citizen in Texas than some of its high-risk counterparts. Because ours is a sunny, hot state, Texans are mindful of the sun and its dangers. States that are not known for their abundant sunshine are actually at a higher risk. When the sunshine is intermittent, and the weather isn’t as hot, residents are not as mindful of its effects.

At Collins Advanced Dermatology Institute, we are working to make the great state of Texas stays at the bottom of the skin cancer diagnoses list by educating and treating its citizens. Make sure you know the Types of Skin Cancer, and stay up-to-date with your annual skin cancer screening at Collins!