Dark skin people need skin cancer checks too!

Dark skin people can have skin cancer too.

 Dark skin people can have skin cancer too.

According to SkinCancer.org, here are some statistics that you should keep in mind, no matter what your skin color.

-Melanomas in African Americans, Asians, Filipinos, Indonesians and Hawaiians most often occur on non-exposed skin with less pigment. These melanomas are often discovered on the palms, soles, mucous membranes and nail regions.

-Skin cancer represents 1 to 2 % of all cancers in African Americans and jumps to 2 to 4 % in Asians.

-While melanoma is more uncommon in African Americans, Latinos, and Asians, it is frequently fatal for these ethnicities. Late-stage melanoma diagnoses are more prevalent among these patients than Caucasian patients, resulting in the 5 year melanoma survival rate for African Americans being only 77 % when compare to 91 % for Caucasians.
All skin types should always apply sunscreen 30 minutes before they go out into the sun, and then reapply every 2 hours. Of course, if you sweat or go in the water, it is necessary to reapply more often. Avoid peak burn hours from 10 AM to 4 PM. Clothing, unless specifically treated for sun protection, is not enough to give you the sun protection needed. Be safe by wearing sunscreen.

Melanoma – A Mole Gone Bad

The quickest way to explain melanoma is to simply say that it is a mole that has gone bad. It is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. According to SkinCancer.org, everyone is at some risk for melanoma. Those with a family or personal history, lighter skin color, a weakened immune system, and excessive moles are at an even higher risk.

And melanoma is on the rise! The good news is that melanoma is almost always curable AS LONG AS IT IS TREATED EARLY. What does that mean to you? You need to get a yearly skin check as well as keep an eye on your own skin for any signs of skin cancer.

Look out for the ABCDEs of melanoma.

A for Asymmetry

If you were to draw a line through the middle of the mole and the 2 sides don’t match, then you should have it checked immediately.

B is for Border

If the borders are not smooth, have it checked.

C is for Color

If the is an unusual color, you should have it checked.

D is for Diameter

If the diameter of the mole is larger than a pencil eraser, it could be melanoma…even though some melanomas can be small.

E is for Evolving  Keep a watch on your moles and if you see it changing in any way, or if it starts to bleed, make an appointment.