Skin Cancer: Everyone is At Risk
Black and Hispanic people tend to know less about skin cancer than any other race.
Black and Hispanic people tend to know less about skin cancer than any other race. This has a lot to do with a naive mentality that minorities are immune to the cancer and only white people are affected. While it is true, that more white people are diagnosed with the disease than any other ethnicity, with one and five Hispanic, black and Asian people out of every 100,000 diagnosed with melanoma each year, compared to 20 out of every 100,000 white women and 32 per 100,000 white men, the fact is, skin cancer is not a disease that discriminates. People of all races are equally at risk.
There is a need for more awareness in the community. Minorities with skin cancer are being diagnosed at a much later stage, decreasing chances of survival. Here are some steps you can take to lower the risk of skin cancer.
- Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., or seek shade, especially in the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Wear protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible, including wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with 99% to 100% UV absorption to provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.
- Use sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, toweling dry, or sweating. Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days.
- Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps and all other sources of UV light.