Does Skin Cancer Differ by Metropolitan Status by Gender?




Frauendorfer, Megan
Bram, Hannah
Spencer, Shawna
Hartos, Jessica


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Purpose: Skin cancer is a major health concern in the general population, but there are conflicting findings regarding its relationship to where people live. The purpose of this study was to determine whether skin cancer differs by metropolitan status in adults aged 18 and older by gender. Methods: This cross sectional analysis used 2015 BRFFS data for males and females aged 18 years and older from Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between skin cancer and metropolitan status while controlling for cancer diagnosis, general health, educational level, employment status, income level, ethnicity, age, and gender. Results: Few participants in the target population reported ever being diagnosed with skin cancer (9-16%), and 4-35% reported living in a rural region, while 22-58% reported living in a suburban area and 38-49% living in an urban area. After controlling for health, socioeconomic and demographic factors, skin cancer and metropolitan status were significantly related. Skin cancer also differed by ethnicity and age (moderate to large effect sizes) for both genders. Conclusions: This study found that skin cancer was significantly related to suburban metropolitan status amongst adults aged 18 and older in the general population. Limitations to this study include a broad definition of skin cancer and no lifestyle variables specific to sun exposure. It is recommended that general practitioners screen, educate, and provide referral services as necessary.