Background and aim: Skin cancer is the most common human cancer. Ultraviolet radiation is now recognized as the most important risk factor for skin cancer development. Light skin colored individuals that spend more time outdoors in day are more susceptible to disease. In this study skin cancer situation in Yazd (located in a hot, dry and desert area) was reviewed.
Materials and methods: In this existing data study all recorded cancers in pathology laboratory of University of Medical Sciences of Yazd between 1988-1996 were reviewed and skin cancers were studied.
Results: 2360 patients with cancer were recorded. Skin cancer was the most common with 646 cases (27.3%). Bladder, stomach, breast and esophagus cancers were the other most common cancers. Among skin cancers basal cell carcinoma was the most common (77%). Other skin cancers included squamous cell carcinoma (17.8%), malignant melanoma (2.8%) and miscellaneous tumors (2.4%). Skin cancers were 1.5 times more common in males, and the majority of patients were in seventh and eighth decades of life. 91.5% of skin cancers were on face, head and neck.
Conclusion: Skin cancer was the most common human cancer in Yazd. Considering skin type and intensity of sun in this area, more intensive preventive programs must be implemented.