This report describes trends in the incidence of various nonmelanoma skin cancers in a region of high ultraviolet exposure. The Southeastern Arizona Skin Cancer Registry routinely identified cases of skin cancer between 1985 and 1996 through pathology logs and reports from dermatology offices and laboratories in 3 Arizona counties. The incidence rates for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) for non-Hispanic whites were 3 to 6 times higher than the incidence rates from more northern regions. The rates for non-Hispanic whites were approximately 11 times greater than rates for Hispanics. Furthermore, there was no constant increase in the incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancers. The incidence of SCC, in particular, demonstrated a plateau or even a modest decline between 1985 and 1996. Thus the incidence rates of both SCC and BCC in Arizona, although among the highest in the world, do not appear to be increasing as rapidly as predicted elsewhere.
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