Summertime heat is bearing down on the high plains, and the sun can be intense. It can also be deadly. Nationally, 19.4 people out of every 100,00o have an incidence of melanoma.
The Center for Disease Control gives the following state rankings. The melanoma rates are for males and females across the High Plains Public Radio listening area:
- #17 Colorado with an incidence of 22.2/100,000
- #20 Kansas with an incidence of 21.8/100,000
- #34 Nebraska with an incidence of 18.5/100,000
- #38 Oklahoma with an incidence of 17.7/100,000
- #48 Texas with an incidence of 13.2/100,000
The Center says these comparative statistics could make readers question why their state ranks as it does. There are a number of variables that should be kept in mind:
- Differences among racial and ethnic populations
- Variations in populations and health behaviors
- Variations in medical care
- Influence of aging on cancer rates
- Measuring burden
- Completeness of cancer incidence data
- Random factors and cancer rates
- Confidence Intervals
There are steps you can take to prevent skin cancer. The Center for Disease Control offers these recommendations:
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
- Wear clothing to protect exposed skin.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
- Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.
- Avoid indoor tanning.
WebMD provides a slide show to inform you on the appearance of skin cancer. It is not meant to replace your medical provider, but to act as a guide.