Oregon’s high melanoma rate attributed to sun exposure, frequent tanning bed use

June 5, 2007

Eugene, Ore. - Oregon has one of the highest rates in the country for melanoma, according to a recent article that appeared in the University of Oregon’s Oregon Daily Emerald.

Eugene, Ore. - Oregon has one of the highest rates in the country for melanoma, according to a recent article that appeared in the University of Oregon’s Oregon Daily Emerald.

The article says that according to the state’s Public Health Division, Oregon registered 23 percent more melanoma cases in 2003 than the national average. Oregon dermatologists interviewed say that, though they weren’t sure exactly why melanoma rates are higher in the state, they speculate that Oregonians use tanning beds more and are exposed to the sun on vacations and during their childhoods.

Some speculated that the melanoma rate could be higher because Oregonians enjoy outdoor activities and spend their time outside during sunny weather, although one Oregon dermatologist says white collar workers experience higher incidence of melanoma than do blue collar workers. The physician says that statistic makes him wonder whether melanoma is more common with intermittent sun exposure as opposed to continual exposure.