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People with color and skin cancer

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Monday is melanoma, but for many people of color, it’s a non-warning day. This is because melanoma is usually not associated with many minority communities.

But medical professionals say that should Be worried, as melanoma kills people of color.


What you need to know

  • Despite the misunderstanding, doctors say colored races can get skin cancer
  • Cases are often diagnosed late
  • 🔻 Tips for staying safe in the sun 🔻

As easy as sunbathing on the beach is exactly what Jaclyn Smith thought was harmless.

“I was no different than anyone else. I grew up in New Jersey and played outside. My birthday is August and we go to the beach. But I’m a sun worshiper. There wasn’t, “she said.

Smith didn’t worship the sun, but like many in the black community, she wasn’t afraid of the sun either. It’s until she notices a lump in her bikini line.

“I knew something was wrong because of the slow growth. It was solid and didn’t hurt, but I didn’t understand what was going on,” she recalls.

After several doctors denied it was serious, one doctor scrutinized it with a biopsy.

“He said,’Jackie, I found melanoma cells.’ And I’ve heard about melanoma, and I said,’Isn’t it a deadly form of skin cancer? And I The first idea was that I wasn’t a fair-skinned, middle-aged white woman, because that’s what I’ve always grown up and heard, “Smith said.

Dr. Vernon Sondak says he always hears the same misconceptions about melanoma from people of color.He is the chairman Skin Oncology Program at Mofit Cancer Center, And he quickly points out why such thinking is so dangerous.

“Melanoma is still rare in African Americans, but the difference in mortality between whites / whites and blacks in this country is greater than any other form of cancer,” Sondak explained.

The reason is that the diagnosis was delayed and missed signs such as changes in spots on the skin, unhealed pain, discoloration under the fingernails, and toenails that did not disappear or did not grow and spread. He said.

“The more pigmented it is, the more likely it is that skin cancer, if you get it, is in a relatively non-pigmented area, such as the soles of your feet, the palms of your hands, or under your nails.” Told.

Dr. Sondak said African Americans have increased protection from the sun due to melanin, but are not immune to skin cancers such as melanoma. It was a type of cancer that killed the legendary reggae star Bob Marley.

So how can you protect yourself?

  • Avoid the strongest sun from 10am to 2pm
  • Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from exposure.
  • Wear a hat

See the Moffitt website for more information.

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