It’s true that the risk of developing skin cancer is higher among fairer skinned people than among people of color. However, this doesn’t mean that people of color can’t get skin cancer.
“People of color” encompasses people of Latino, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, African, Asian, and Native American descent. Everyone, regardless of skin color, can develop skin cancer. This includes people who never sunburn.
Understanding the signs of skin cancer can help patients of every race avoid the risks associated with this progressive condition.
Identifying Skin Cancer in Every Race
When skin cancer occurs in people of color, it tends to be mistaken for something else, such as a bruise. This leads to many cases of skin cancer in people of color who don’t get diagnosed until a later stage. There’s a lower survival rate of all skin cancer among people of color in comparison to white skin cancer patients.
Skin cancer may appear in people of color as:
- A dark spot or growth
- A patch of skin that’s changing, bleeding, or growing
- A patch of skin that’s dry or rough
- A sore that’s not healing (namely if the sore is located on a patch of skin that was previously injured)
- A dark line around or beneath a nail
There’s also less public awareness of the risks associated with skin cancer among people of color. This is mainly due to the fact that the risk of skin cancer is lower in minority ethnic groups. Many healthcare providers are less likely to suspect skin cancer in patients of color because of this fact.
Skin Cancer Screenings
At the Bowman Institute for Dermatologic Surgery, we provide meticulous skin examinations to detect skin cancer at any stage. As skin cancer specialists, we have the expertise to identify skin cancer in all patients, regardless of skin color.
For an expert skin cancer evaluation or skin cancer treatment, contact The Bowman Institute for Dermatologic Surgery to schedule an appointment.