Utah has the highest occurrence of melanoma and the greatest number of deaths from it each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

U. dermatologist Mahsa Karavan, principal investigator of a study involving skin cancer screening of more than 100 Salt Lake firefighters this week, said that not only the altitude, but a more fair-complexioned people in the area and their love of the outdoors and being active also increases the risk for skin cancer.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” she said, adding that 1 in 5 people is expected to develop skin cancer in their lives.

On top of that, Karavan said, U.S. public health campaigns haven’t done a great job educating people about the dangers of getting tan, using tanning beds and using sunscreen correctly and even for short periods of time spent in the sun.

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