People with darker skin still at risk for melanoma
Expert describes how skin cancer looks, ways to protect yourself.
(HealthDay) -- 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.
More information: The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about skin cancer.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
- Dark side of the sun Jun 29, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Melanoma a big threat to older men May 18, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Rising skin cancer rates are more likely to affect wealthy people, says 12-year review Jun 11, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Most common cancers in the world decreasing in Alberta: Study May 03, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Commonly used painkillers may protect against skin cancer May 29, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
4 hours ago Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
The surgical management of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in U.S. hospitals varies widely depending on the race of the patient, according to a new study.
Cancer 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Treatment with an Alpha-1 proteinase inhibitor (A1-PI), a naturally occurring protein that protects lung tissue from breakdown and protects the lung's elasticity, is effective in slowing the progression of emphysema in patients ...
Cancer 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Lund University, Sweden, have bioengineered a novel molecule which has been proven to successfully kill tumour cells.
Cancer 1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
An article published on the journal Nature describes the major role that Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) —an enzyme of cellular energy metabolism— plays in the regulation of the cellular senescence induce ...
Cancer 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at the School of Medicine have shown that their previously identified therapeutic approach to fight cancer via immune cells called macrophages also prompts the disease-fighting killer T cells ...
Cancer 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Delayed transfer to the intensive care unit (ICU) in hospitalized patients significantly increases the risk of dying in the hospital, according to a new study from researchers in Chicago.
56 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
In a remote fishing community in Venezuela, a lone fisherman sits on a cliff overlooking the southern Caribbean Sea. This man –– the lookout –– is responsible for directing his comrades on the water, ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A novel approach to obstructing the runaway inflammatory response implicated in some types of asthma has shown promise in a Phase IIa clinical trial, according to U. S. researchers.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Authorities are investigating rice mills in southern China following tests that found almost half of the staple grain in one of the country's largest cities was contaminated with a toxic metal.
1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered specific chemical alterations in two genes that, when present during pregnancy, reliably predict whether a woman will develop postpartum depression.
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |