LatinaLista — With people believing the old urban myth that brown-skinned people don’t get sunburned, it’s not surprising that the latest skin cancer findings are making people scratch their heads.
A new study published in the Archives of Dermatology shows that Latinos and black women in Florida are being afflicted with the skin cancer melanoma at higher rates than the national average.
Compared to national rates, incidence of the potentially deadly skin cancer in Florida was 20 percent higher among Hispanic men and 60 percent higher among black women, but 30 percent lower for Hispanic women.
Researchers aren’t sure why this is happening but they do feel it has something to do with the state’s higher UV index. Plus the fact that while lighter-skinned people have been known to contract melanoma more, it’s historically been the case that Latinos and blacks are diagnosed with the cancer at later stages when it’s more deadly.
Aside from avoiding the sun altogether, the only way to diminish the chances of getting melanoma is to use sunscreen. A new national educational campaign and contest about sun-healthy behavior hopes to impact the rates of melanoma across the nation.
Sponsored by the skin line Neutrogena, the Choose Skin Healthâ„¢ campaign is a result of a partnership with The American Society for Dermatological Surgery. On the campaign’s web site, visitors learn important and useful information such as the different types of skin cancers, what SPF 30 really means, the dos and don’ts for sun protection and the difference between UVA and UVB rays.
There is also an interactive activity on how to determine if a mole is cancerous, a downloadable self-exam kit and the opportunity to get a free skin cancer screening — not to mention, Neutrogena offers a $2 coupon on their suncare products.
People of all skin tones and races are at risk for skin cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005, 50,589 whites, 1,122 Hispanics, 261 blacks, 159 Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 95 American Indians/Alaska Natives in the United States were diagnosed with melanomas (the deadliest form of skin cancer) of the skin.