From 2001 to 2005, Idaho had the highest melanoma mortality
rate in the nation and it remains high today.
No matter where you live in Idaho, you are never far from
outdoor recreation. It’s one of the reasons why many of us choose to live here.
But this exposure also puts us at risk
for skin cancer.
“We see two-to-five skin cancers every single day,” said
Cameron French of Alpine Dermatology in Idaho Falls.
That’s a lot of new cases and there is a chance that you
could be living with it and not even know it.
“Honestly, a lot of the times when people come in for their
skin checks, they are not coming in for that reason,” continued French. “We
actually find those skin cancers that they didn’t even know they had.”
In most of these cases they can be easily treated.
“Basal Cells and Squamous Cell skin cancers, we can actually
cut them out and there’s a good chance you won’t have to deal with those in
that area,” continued French.
However melanoma is a different story.
“Melanoma is the one that actually can metastasize
throughout your body and it’s a miserable death,” said French.
But not enough people in our area are getting the message. Five
of Idaho’s six neighbors are in the highest category for melanoma incidence
rates. And the Gem State is one of the
leaders when it comes to melanoma mortality.