BY: Citizens Count
For a state where residents spend half the year bundled up, it comes as something of a surprise: according to the National Cancer Institute, NH ranks 3rd in the nation for incidence rate of melanoma, with 31.4 cases per 100,000 people. Melanoma most commonly affects older individuals with fair complexions and Northern European or Scandinavian ancestry, which includes roughly 93% of NH's population. Rates of the disease have been rising in the Granite State in recent years, though mortality from melanoma has remained constant, partly due to increased awareness and skin screening exams. Incidence rates are particularly high among NH females aged 15-39, raising concerns about high exposure to UV radiation, whether through sun exposure or the use of tanning beds.