Is Texas A Skin Cancer “Danger” Area? For some of us, it seems to be. Our 3 kids have all had their episodes, that are ongoing. As we have. My husband even had reconstruction on the outer ear.
So Is Texas A Skin Cancer “Danger” Area? We lived in New Mexico for about 15 years. That lets Texas off the hook.
Maybe for us, it was more a lifestyle choice and a lack of information about the risks we were taking. The great fitting and looking sun blocking clothing we have now had not made its debut!
There are spots in Texas, like down in South Texas that is called a perfect place for skin cancer for a reason. During most years the month of June, there has nearly 280 hours of sunshine!
Then add August with its normal 308 hours of sunshine! That is a lot of UV exposure.
And in the south Texas area, skin cancer incidents are high. However, when considering the whole population and the skin cancer cases per capita, it isn’t so high.
Now a part of that is because a large portion of our ethnic background originates from darker skin populations. This makes for a slower sunburn rate. The darker skin does burn, just takes a bit more time. However, they will burn, and have skin cancer and melanoma, the deadly skin cancer.
Most are aware of how dangerous skin cancer is. It would seem reasonable that the southern states have the highest rate per capita of skin cancer. Actual results don’t prove this out, however.
Not so much skin cancer per capita, according to the statistics. However, as skin cancer was long regarded as not dangerous because it was usually curable, the information was not as urgently curated and made available.
The Sun Is Different For Some States!
So what about Flordia? Is Skin Cancer More Prevalent in Florida? There is a reason that people go to Flordia here in the United States.
We might think that sunlight is sunlight, but that’s not true. While you still get dangerous UV rays when out in the sun no matter where you are, when we’re talking about the United States?
Yes, Florida is unique.
There’s a reason many people flock to the Sunshine State. Because of its location, Florida gets stronger sunlight than other states.
The Sun Isn’t The Same In All States!
That means more fun in the sun. Going to the beach, boating, fishing, or whatever you enjoy under sunny skies.
The secret is the closeness to the equator!
What you may not be aware of is that as you get closer to the equator, the higher the ultraviolet rays (UV) levels are.
And while we all want to enjoy our vacation, you really have to be careful spending time outdoors this close to the equator.
Take a look at a map. Florida is very close to the Caribbean islands. The closest island of the Bahamas is only 50 miles away! The Florida Keys, in the south of the state, are even part of the tropical zone.
This explains more of why it’s so sunny, hot, and humid!
Most of us know how dangerous skin cancer is.
You might think that the southern states have the highest rate of skin cancer. However, the actual findings might surprise you.
Is skin cancer more prevalent in Florida and other southern states?
Is There More Skin Cancer In Florida?
Surprisingly, many other states have a higher incidence of skin cancer than Florida.
These states include Utah, Vermont, Delaware, and New Hampshire!
To me this was a surprising fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these states actually have the highest rates of skin cancer!
When I Dug Deeper, Information Continued To Surprise
For instance, Florida is number two when it comes to the total number of melanoma cases. The number one state is Hawaii.
An interesting fact is that Florida has a lower altitude, but an increased risk. Then, Hawaii has increased UV penetration due to higher altitudes.
Regardless of where Florida falls on the list, it’s important to pay attention to your skin and get regular screenings. Skin cancers are highly visible.
When you have a precancerous spot or a full-blown squamous carcinoma. Skin cancers, including deadly melanoma, are right there on the surface of your skin.
We have the opportunity to find them early.
When found early, treatment is the least invasive and potentially most effective.
We may love the Florida sunshine, but we do have to remember. The sun is not always your friend.
Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, and get your skin checked at least yearly.
Skin Cancer In The Winter?
And it’s important to keep in mind that while you are in Florida right now with hot summer days. And with plenty of sunshine.
Other areas of the country have high risks due to their cold climates and snowfall. Yes, that’s right, your skin can get damaged while you are having fun in the winter snow.
Remember the high skin cancer states of Utah, Vermont, Delaware, and New Hampshire? Could the choices people make to not protect their skin have some bearing on the rates of skin cancer?
To be remembered here is the ethnic background being from the more northern parts of the world. With fairer skin and lighter hair and eyes.
The temperature helps here as well, as due to cooler temperatures, most keep their skin covered more.
Remember the sun hat, your sunglasses, your sun blocking clothing, and your sunscreen.
What Did We Wind Up With?
So, is there more skin cancer in Florida?
Yes, when it comes to melanoma cases. Actually, Flordia is # 2 with Hawaii being #1.
But those other states pose a higher risk. So, what does all this mean?
It’s important to be aware of the sun no matter where you live!
Whether you’re vacationing (or living) in Florida, or you spend your time in Vermont, the sun emits harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer.
Awareness Means Skin Protection
It’s important to control sun damage by limiting your exposure. You limit your exposure by using sunscreen and taking a break in the shade.
Most of us love playing in the sun or snow. Now you know that there is a risk. Near the equator, or in the Midwest, or New England, or on the West Coast.
Do you have your sun blocking tools ready?
Your Risks for sunburn may be higher if you have:
- History of frequent or severe sunburn in childhood
- Skin that burns easily, fair skin, or blond or red hair; however, people with all skin types can develop skin cancer
- The presence of multiple moles on the skin
Preventing Basil Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The best thing a person can do to prevent a diagnosis or recurrence of BCC or SCC?
Reduce your exposure to UV light.
This can be done by avoiding tanning beds, wearing sun blocking clothing when outdoors. Your sun hat, sunglasses, and a loose-fitting long sleeve shirt.
You will still need to use some broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunblock on exposed skin with an SPF of at least 30.
Because of the increased risk associated with severe sunburn, children should especially be protected from harmful UV light exposure.
It is also important to examine your skin regularly for changes in any existing moles, or the appearance of new ones.
Seeing a dermatologist can help detect if any skin markings are warning signs for cancer.
Prevention and detection strategies are key in reducing risk and improving outcomes for patients with BCC and SCC.
Sami’s Take On Is Texas A Skin Cancer “Danger” Area?
I do think that Texas is a skin cancer danger area. We have disregarded the danger of exposing our skin to the sun.
Due to the lack of research information being cataloged and released for study, we have thought we were safe! Even though we could see what was happening to our family’s skin.
Our love for a summer tan was so addictive, that some members of our family visited the tanning salon after we knew the dangers. Just like addicts who partake of something, knowing it isn’t good for you.
We are becoming more aware with every visit to the dermatologist. When I look in the mirror and see the aging in my skin on my face that is the result of too much sun. By the time I knew how it would affect me, it was too late. The damage had been done.
How are you planning to make your next year’s days in the sun safe? Do you have your sun-safe tools handy? We are learning to keep our sun hats near the outside doors.
Our sunglasses are always ready to be grabbed as we go out. My long sleeve loose-fitting shirt is handy there in the utility closet.
We are trying to model habits for the younger members. Did we have to think about it? Yes, we did. We had to make lifestyle choices.
Sometimes it is a pain to take a moment for the hat, or sunglasses, or shirt, but we can do it. We can take better care of our skin here in an area with so much sun.
We want to visit the dermatologist less. It is frightening to think that the new statistics are proving that when you develop skin cancer, you are at very high risk for another cancer type. One that may not be treated easily.
Make your plan to improve your skin’s protection.