|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News|HIV No Barrier to Getting Liver Transplant, Study FindsXofigo Approved for Prostate CancerTest Approved to Detect Faulty Lung Cancer GeneNew Drug May Help Immune System Fight CancerCancer Patients May Face Higher Bankruptcy OddsFDA Approves New Drug to Fight Advanced Prostate CancerMetformin Won't Aid Breast Cancer Survival in DiabeticsCreative Arts Therapies Up Mental Health for Cancer PatientsExperts Aim to Draw Attention to High Cancer Drug CostsCreative Arts May Help Cancer Patients CopeAgent Orange Tied to Lethal Prostate CancerScientists Discover More Genetic Clues to Testicular CancerSocializing May Ease Pain of Breast CancerGene Discovery May Offer Breakthrough for Rare LeukemiaRed Hair Pigment Might Raise Melanoma Risk: StudySkin Cancer Tx Mostly Surgical, Regardless of Life ExpectancyAATS: MnDCT Beats Chest X-Ray for Detecting Lung CancerProstate Cancer May Be Deadlier for the UninsuredSleep Woes Tied to Prostate Cancer Risk in StudyAUA: Incidence of Testicular Cancer Up Through 2009Study Links Timing of ER Visit to Prostate Cancer Survival OddsTesticular Cancer on Rise in U.S., Especially Among Hispanic MenUrologists' Group Issues Updated Guidelines on PSA TestAt-Home Drug Errors Common for Kids With Cancer, Research ShowsScientists Pinpoint Most Major Genes Behind Deadly Blood CancerImplants May Delay Breast Cancer Detection, Raise Death RiskComprehensive Analysis Supports SERMs for Cutting Breast CancerNovel System Proposed for Accountable Cancer CareWomen Smokers More Likely to Get Colon Cancer Than Men: StudyFor Some Seniors With Skin Cancer, Surgery Not Always Best ChoiceComprehensive Discussion With Docs Ups Cancer ScreeningHistory of Skin Cancer Linked to Secondary CancersIntegrated 2D, 3D Mammogram Improves Cancer DetectionSoaring Prices Keep Leukemia Drugs From Patients, Experts SayRace, Income Tied to Breast Cancer Treatment Delays, Reduced SurvivalObesity Tied to Risk of Prostate Cancer After Negative BiopsyNon-Melanoma Skin Cancers Tied to Risk for Other CancersObesity Linked to Prostate Cancer, Study FindsMammograms Can Measure How Breast Cancer Drug Is Working: StudyScientists Spot Cancer Metabolism ChangesMinorities Less Prone to Think They'll Get Cancer: StudyClinical Trials Helped One Woman's Fight Against CancerARRS: MASS Criteria, LDH Predict Survival in MelanomaScientists Create Breast Cancer Survival PredictorEndocrine Therapy Often Incomplete after Breast CancerEndometriosis Surgery Linked to Lower Ovarian Cancer RiskReview Suggests Breast Cancer Screens Should Be PersonalizedMenopause-Like Woes Hinder Breast Cancer Treatment: StudySmoking Raises Asbestos Workers' Cancer Risk, Study SaysGene May Boost Death Risk From Most Common Thyroid CancerLinksBook Reviews
People With Darker Skin Still at Risk for Melanoma
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Jul 25th 2012
WEDNESDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Skin cancer is more common among white people, but people with darker skin are also at risk, a dermatology expert cautions.
While the skin pigment melanin does offer people with dark skin some natural protection against harmful ultraviolet rays and sunburns, this protection is not perfect and too much sun exposure over a lifetime can lead to a high risk for skin cancer, said Dr. Valencia Thomas of the Harris County Hospital District, in Texas.
Using sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF), regularly checking your own skin and having yearly skin check-ups are important for preventing skin cancer or catching it early if it does occur, Thomas advised.
One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Over the past 30 years, rates of the deadliest form of skin cancer -- malignant melanoma -- have increased among all races in the United States. The disease kills 22 people a day across the country.
"In African American and Asian populations, malignant melanoma is most commonly located on hands and feet, while among Caucasians [whites] and Hispanics, it's found on the legs and back," Thomas said in a hospital district news release.
"Although excess ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for developing malignant melanoma in Caucasians, the role of these rays among ethnic populations is not well known. People with new or changing moles that have irregular borders, color and appear bigger than a pencil eraser should get them examined immediately," advised Thomas, who is director of dermatology at the Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital and Quentin Mease Community Hospital, and an assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, in Houston.
Other common types of skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinomas appear as a growing bump with blood vessels, which tend to bleed easily and in ethnic populations may be dark brown or black. This type of cancer tends to appear in the head and neck area. Basal cell carcinoma is most common among Hispanics and Asians, and second most common among blacks and South Asian Indians.
Squamous cell carcinoma is most common among South Asians and blacks and appears as firm bumps, sometimes with thick scale. Among South Asian Indians and blacks, this type of skin cancer is found on the legs or the genital areas, Thomas said. This type of cancer is strongly linked to sun exposure.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about skin cancer.
This article: Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.