Plymouth has the highest rate in England for malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, researchers have said.
There were 28.7 cases per 100,000 people in the city between 2004 and 2006, said the the South West Public Health Observatory (SWPHO).
That was almost double the English average of 15.6.
Experts have blamed the outdoor lifestyle many residents lead in the summer months.
The SWPHO research shows that Torbay had 26.4 cases of malignant melanoma per 100,000 people, Devon 24.4 and the South West 20.6.
Steven Brown, assistant public health director of NHS Devon, said: "We're not taking tackling skin cancer, particularly in the West Country where we are one of the hot spots.
"It is about cultural changes, changing people's attitudes.
"It's not going to be a short term fix and we have got a lot of work to do."
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