OREGON – According to doctors, the Pacific Northwest has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the country, putting Oregon and Washington well into the top 10.
Dr. Joseph Fiorillo with the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute said the combination of fair skin and sun exposure in the area is kind of the perfect storm. Many people may think that just because the Northwest doesn’t see a lot of direct sunlight that they’re not in danger, but they actually could be more in danger.
"Even though we think of the Northwest as being kind of gloomy in the winter time, one can still experience the harmful effects of the sun even when there are cloudy days,” said Dr. Fiorillo.
He said there are some things you can do to protect yourself. Make sure to avoid the sun if at all possible and try to wear clothes that will cover your skin. If that’s not possible, make sure to wear sun protection.
"I personally recommend sunblock as opposed to sunscreen. Sunblocks that have blocking agents in it, like titanium dioxide and things of that nature,” said Dr. Fiorillo.
He also recommended looking out for children, as they’re not capable of protecting their own skin.