American Academy of Dermatology Assesses Skin Cancer Risk Among Latinos
In a recent American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) press release, board-certified dermatologist Maritza I. Perez, MD, FAAD, says that many latinos don’t believe they’re at risk of skin cancer.
“The belief that Hispanic people don’t have to worry about skin cancer has existed among Latinos for generations,” she says. “They hear it from their parents and grandparents, and then they pass this belief on to their children.”
However, Dr. Perez adds that the Hispanic population’s access to dermatologic care is also an important factor. Many Latino families are uninsured or underinsured, she says, so they may be less likely to see a dermatologist for a skin cancer evaluation.
In another article featured in The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal, Dr. Perez shared the below chart comparing Hispanic deaths from melanoma to that of Caucasians.
PERCENTAGE OF DEATHS AMONG THOSE DIAGNOSED WITH MELANOMA, 2008 TO 2012
According to a report by the American Cancer Society, there’s a huge survival disparity in melanoma. Among men, about 87% of non-Hispanic whites survive five years after diagnosis, compared to only 77% of Hispanics. Why? Hispanics often discover having skin cancer at the later stage. And early detection is key in curing melanoma.
While the risk of getting melanoma is lower for Hispanics (0.5%) than whites (2.5%), they are still at risk. Fact: 40-50% of Americans (regardless of ethnicity) who live to the age of 65 will have skin cancer at least once.
The AAD is now actively working to raise skin cancer awareness among underserved Latino population. Its Latino Outreach Program provides free skin cancer screenings and education to the community. If you see any abnormal growth on skin or mole, ask a dermatologist today. You don’t need insurance coverage or an appointment to use First Derm’s tele-dermatology service.
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Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, alumnus UC Berkeley. My doctoral dissertation is about Digital Health and I have published 5 scientific articles in teledermatology and artificial intelligence.