Local skin cancer rates higher than national average

Published: Jun. 25, 2013 at 9:53 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2013 at 11:43 PM CDT
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So many Amarillo residents are finding out they have skin cancer, it exceeds the national average. Hundreds of Amarillo residents are being diagnosed with skin cancer every month.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center says they're seeing around five new patients every week. High Plains Dermatology Center says they're diagnosing around 200 people every month.

Dr. Scott Miller with High Plains Dermatology Center says, "We're awfully busy with skin cancer for sure. There's just a lot of fair skin people living in the panhandle area. We see ranchers, farmers, oil workers, people out playing golf, just spending a lot of time in the sun. And it just contributes to the skin cancer rates in this area."

Local doctors say they're seeing skin cancers mostly in older people, but they're also seeing a lot of children. They say the biggest risk factor is sun exposure as a child so they really need to be protected.

And whether you decide to tan out in the sun or a tanning bed, local doctors remind you that there's no such thing as a healthy tan because it's the body's reaction to sun damage.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.