Ask the Doctor
July 24, 2012
Can black people get skin cancer?

Dear Doc,

Do black people get skin cancer?{{more}}


Dear Leslie-Anna,


People with black skin people do develop skin cancers. Caucasians have higher rates of diagnosis than black skin people, but blacks must never believe that it is a passport to frolic in the sun without shin protection. It is that wrong belief that can cause the increase in skin cancers in the black population.

There is a paradox that has to be considered and that is though black skinned people have fewer diagnosis of skin cancers, many blacks have the worst prognosis. Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, tends to be diagnosed in whiteskinned people earlier than in blacks, because it is easier to note changes in skin colour with white people. The problem is that late diagnosis carries the risk of having a cancer that has spread and carries poor prognosis.

Black people, like fair skin people, must always protect their skin when exposed to the sun. Blacks must make use of sunscreen and wear proper head protection likebroad hats to help protect from the effects of the ultraviolet sunrays. Sunbathers must consider the benefits versus the risks of exposing their skin to deliberate intense sunrays.


SVG Cancer Society,
P.O. Box 709, Kingstown.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 526-7036