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Skin Cancer in Arizona

Because of Arizona’s high altitudes and close proximity to the equator, it is closer to the sun and has a year-round warm climate. The closer you are to the sun, the less protection you have from the sun’s UV rays. People in Arizona spend more time outside because of how warm it is all year long — and because the temperatures are warmer, you will be more likely to wear less clothing. This means shorts, tank tops, sun dresses, and the like. When you consider all of these factors, people who live in Arizona are at a higher risk for cancer than most other United States residents.

Skin cancer facts

  • More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. [1]
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. [2]
  • The diagnosis and treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers in the U.S. increased by 77 percent between 1994 and 2014. [3]
  • In the past decade (2008 – 2018) the number of new melanoma cases diagnosed annually has increased by 53 percent. [4]
  • An estimated 178,560 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018. Of those, 87,290 cases will be in situ (noninvasive), confined to the epidermis (the top layer of skin), and 91,270 cases will be invasive, penetrating the epidermis into the skin's second layer (the dermis). [1]
  • Only 20 to 30 percent of melanomas are found in existing moles, while 70 to 80 percent arise on apparently normal skin. [5]


  1.  Cancer Facts and Figures 2018. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2018/cancer-facts-and-figures-2018.pdf. Accessed May 3, 2018.
  2. Stern, RS. Prevalence of a history of skin cancer in 2007: results of an incidence-based model. Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):279-282.
  3. Mohan SV, Chang AL. Advanced basal cell carcinoma: epidemiology and therapeutic innovations. Curr Dermatol Rep 2014; 3(1): 40-45. doi:10.1007/s13671-014-0069-y.
  4. Cancer Facts and Figures 2008. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2008/cancer-facts-and-figures-2008.pdf. Accessed May 3, 2018.
  5. Cymerman RM, Shao Y, Wang K, et al. De novo versus nevus-associated melanomas: Differences in associations with prognostic indicators and survival. J Natl Cancer Inst 2016 May 27; 108(10). doi:10.1093/jnci/djw121.
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