Darker skin doesn’t mean melanoma immunity


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From ZUMA Press, via mnn.com
From ZUMA Press, via mnn.com

Melanoma is on the rise among certain groups of dark-skinned Floridians, new research shows, Reuters reports.

The study isn’t sure why but does provide an important main message: “Just because you have darker skin pigmentation, whether you’re Hispanic or black, does not make you immune to skin cancer,” Dr. Robert S. Kirsner of the University of Miami told Reuters Health.

Melanoma remains much rarer among blacks and Hispanics than among whites, which helps explain why public health efforts to prevent melanoma chiefly target the light-skinned.

In the current study, for example, in 2004 there were about 26 cases of melanoma diagnosed for every 100,000 persons per year among U.S. whites, compared to 4 cases for Hispanics and less than 1 case for non-Hispanic blacks.

Nevertheless, non-whites with melanoma are diagnosed later, and are thus actually more likely to die from the disease, Kirsner and his team point out in the Archives of Dermatology.

“It’s picked up later and a lot of this is really felt to be due to decreased detection and screening,” Dr. Melody Eide, a staff physician-scientist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit who has studied ethnicity and melanoma but was not involved in the new study, told Reuters Health.

Read more here, including differences among Hispanics in Florida compared to the nation and other groups.

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latinos remain without health insurance coverage

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