It’s a matter of life and death; one person dies of Melanoma every 52 minutes.
BEWARE: Melanoma is on the Rise for People of Color
Black people can develop skin cancer from UV damage. Yes, although dark skin produces melanin to protect our skin, we people of color must pay more attention and examine our bodies thoroughly three’s times a month. Standing in front of a mirror naked while massaging every part of the body gently after showers or bathing, keeps us in tune with what’s developing under our skin. As well, have someone else check your back, buttocks, and back of legs. Make an appointment with a physician promptly if you notice these suspicious: skin lesions, lumps, abnormal moles, growths on hands, colour-unevenness splotches, bleeding, strangely shaped patches and spot irregularities.
***Important: when melanoma is found later in life it becomes much harder to treat and creates a lesser possibility, saving a life. Schedule your full-body skin exam today.
What exactly is a melanoma?: A type of cancer that begins in melanocytes (cells that make the pigment melanin). The only way to diagnose melanoma, a professional will remove and examine tissue(s) under a microscope for any indications of cancer cells.
- 52% African Americans develop melanoma
- Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer
- 5-year survival rate: for Blacks 73% and Whites 93%
- Ignorance is the #1 reason it is not detected sooner- Delayed Diagnosis; in fact, many doctors believe black skin is immune to skin cancer
DO NOT IGNORE ingrown hairs; the body could be revealing early signs of melanoma, see your doctor or dermatologist immediately. Unfortunately, people of color can still generate melanoma on the body that is not even exposed to the sun such as bikini/groin areas, palms, nail beds, breast, ankles, underarms, toes, inner thighs/outer thighs, the skin between toes, and bottom of the feet.
Gone Too Soon, the great Bob Marley had a four-year battle with acral melanoma; he died in 1981 at the age of 36. The disease started under the toenail, a dark spot. I wonder if he ever thought “This small place here on my skin could take my life.” Today’s modern medicines, laser, and surgery treatments can help us all to live longer if we observe our bodies carefully and expeditiously follow the doctor’s advice.
There is no sure way to prevent melanoma. Some risk factors such as your age, gender, race, and family history can’t be controlled. But there are things you can do that could lower your risk of getting melanoma and other skin cancers.
- Limit your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays
- Seek shade
- Cover Up- when exposed to harsh sun rays, wear a hat, shirt, and sunglasses whenever possible
- Avoid using tanning beds and sunlamps
- Use SPF Sun Protection DAILY!
Long Live the People,