Latinos Get Skin Cancer at Younger Ages & Develop More Hard-to-Treat Tumors


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Photo Credit: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images, via the L.A. Times
Photo Credit: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images, via the L.A. Times

While Hispanics have much lower risks of developing melanoma than non-Hispanic whites in California, they develop the disease at younger ages, develop thicker tumors, which are more difficult to treat, and experience a higher percentage of cases among people living in poorer areas, according to a new study.

This finding, just published in the journal Cancer by scientists at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC), Stanford University, and the University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine, follows a 2009 CPIC finding that melanoma rates are increasing in all racial/ethnic groups nationally, and points to the need for prevention efforts tailored to Hispanics.

To examine the importance of socioeconomic status in relation to melanoma incidence and tumor subtype and location among Hispanics and whites, the scientists investigated characteristics of cases for all 4,607 Hispanics and 83,859 whites with malignant melanoma of the skin in California from 1988 to 2007.

“These data are important evidence that messages around melanoma awareness and prevention may need to be tailored specifically to Hispanic populations in California,” said Dr. Christina Clarke, a study coauthor. “We are clearly seeing the worst kinds of melanoma—the thick tumors that have spread and are likely to be deadly—disproportionately among Hispanic men, especially those living in poorer neighborhoods.”

Find more info on the study here.

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latinos remain without health insurance coverage

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