Skin Cancer in People of Color
Dr. Adam Mamelak explains why it is important for people of color to have regular skin cancer screenings and take adequate precautions for sun protection.
When it comes to skin cancer, caucasians are typically more likely to be affected. However, it is important to note that other ethnicities can still develop cancerous lesions. In fact, when skin cancer occurs in people of color, it often presents in a more advanced stage. For this reason, it is extremely important for patients of all ethnicities to take precautions to protect themselves from excessive ultraviolet exposure by wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, covering up and wearing sun protective clothing, and seeking shade when outdoors. Avoiding the midday sun between 10am and 4pm can also help you to avoid damage from the sun.
People of color are at a much higher risk for being diagnosed at a more advanced stage, so if you are concerned about any potentially cancerous lesions, I strongly recommend scheduling a skin cancer screening with a qualified dermatologist as soon as possible. It is also very important for individuals of all ethnicities and backgrounds to have their skin checked by their dermatologist or physician once a year.
If skin cancer becomes an issue, I almost always recommend treatment with Mohs Micrographic surgery, which is currently considered the “gold standard” for treating skin cancer in cosmetically and functionally important areas of the body. Mohs surgery is able to map cancerous tumors down to their roots, allowing your surgeon to precisely remove all the cancerous tissue, while leaving healthy skin intact. By mapping out these cancers and all their roots prior to removing them, we have the ability to achieve cure rates of over 99%. This unique advantage is why this technique is producing the highest cure rate compared to any other treatment, and why it is our preferred method for skin cancer treatment at Sanova Dermatology.