Non-melanoma skin cancers (SCC and BCC) are the most frequently diagnosed (Table 12.1) and are the most rapidly rising forms of cancer in white populations (International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1992). Estimates are that in recent years in the U.S., there have been 800,000 cases diagnosed each year, about twice as often in men as in women (Long et al., 1996; Saraiya et al., 2004). In 2004 there were an estimated 2,300 deaths from non-melanoma skin cancers, primarily from SCC (Saraiya et al., 2004). However, the cancer characterized as the most common world-wide is BCC (Chuang et al., 1990; Gailani et al., 1996). Both BCC and SCC are concentrated on the skin surfaces that are most exposed to the sun (Weinstock, 1993).
The estimated lifetime risk of BCC in the white population of the U.S. is 33% to 39% for men and 23% to 28% for women (Bader, 2008). BCC is rarely found in people under 40. Like SCC, BCC skin cancer incidence is a function of average UV-B irradiance in a geographic area, though the relationship is even stronger for BCC (Leffell and Brash, 1996; Heisler and Grant, 2000a).
We might expect average temperature to also be related to skin cancer incidence, because in warmer temperatures, people might wear less clothing to keep cool while outdoors. This could explain the fact that the relatively cool temperatures present in San Francisco result in lower incidence of BCC and SCC than predicted by the average July UV-B dose. However, in a simple regression analysis for the relationship between BCC and SCC incidence, with July UV-B dose and average temperature as predictor variables, temperature did not significantly add to the prediction of cancer incidence after UV-B dose was included (Heisler and Grant, 2000a). The relationship between the dress of pedestrians (skin exposure) and type of climate seems worthy of study. Human thermal comfort models are available that could be used in such studies (Heisler and Wang, 2002).
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Complete Guide to Preventing Skin Cancer. We all know enough to fear the name, just as we do the words tumor and malignant. But apart from that, most of us know very little at all about cancer, especially skin cancer in itself. If I were to ask you to tell me about skin cancer right now, what would you say? Apart from the fact that its a cancer on the skin, that is.