Dr. Natasha Sandy shares with us about skin cancer. Here’s What You Should Know: Caucasians are the primary patients diagnosed with skin cancer. Many people do not believe that non-Caucasian people are at risk. As a consequence skin cancer in Skin of Color is under diagnosed; outcomes are poor for these patients and poor skin cancer preventative care is practiced. Everyone regardless of ethnicity is at risk for skin cancer. Often people of color are diagnosed with skin cancer at later stages. This results in skin cancers in Skin of Color often being advanced and potentially fatal. The most common skin cancers are Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Melanoma. These skin cancers are most commonly caused by UV rays from the sun damages the DNA in the skin and lead to cancer. This is why UV protection with the use of sunscreen daily is important. Squamous cell carcinoma which is the most common cancer seen in those with African descent can also be caused by chronic inflammation in areas of trauma, scar, burns, discoid lupus. Melanoma is most deadly of these skin cancer has increasing rates in Skin of Color. Well-known reggae artist Bob Marley actually died from Melanoma found on his toe that moved to his lungs not from smoking as is commonly believed. Melanoma can be found on sun-exposed areas and on palms and soles, particularly in Skin of Color.
So careful monitoring by patient through self-skin examination and by a physician is important along with daily sun protection with sunscreen and sun protective clothing.