Israel Has One of World's Highest Rates of Skin Cancer

Some 940 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year in Israel, which has one of the highest rates of that type of cancer in the world.

Most of the patients diagnosed in 2003 and 2004 were Jews. According to Health Ministry data, the number of skin cancer cases is much lower in the Arab sector - just three to eight cases are diagnosed every year.

According to the most updated data from the World Health Organization, released in a press conference held yesterday by the Health Ministry and the Israel Cancer Association, 14.9 of every 100 Israeli residents were diagnosed in 2002 with malignant melanoma.

This is one of the highest rates in the world. Only New Zealand, Australia, Norway and the United States' Caucasian population suffer from higher rates of skin cancer.

As part of the 13th Annual Skin Cancer Awareness and Prevention week, health funds in cooperation with a number of doctors' associations will operate some 400 stations around the country next week for the early detection of skin cancer.