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Skin cancer is a risk regardless of skin color.but may go unnoticed in dark-skinned people

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    Brykyta Shelton finds herself standing in a large The retailer, felt uncomfortable when a woman in front of her stared at the feet of her sandals.

    Sheldon has been taking medication for what her doctors say is toenail fungus for months, but one nail is still It looks disgusting.

    After Sheldon finished shopping, the woman pulled her aside and said that although she was not a doctor, she thought she was grateful Tonton is dealing with something more serious than fungus.

      “She was like: ‘I know I’m just a random stranger, but please, go get someone to check, ‘” said Sheldon, who lives in suburban Washington, D.C., Maryland

      Sheldon, 42, took the advice .

      Initial lab work did not give a definitive diagnosis, but her new doctor said he was sure she had extremities Melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Additional tests proved him right. Although rare, it is the most common subtype of melanoma in blacks like Shelton. It’s the disease that killed reggae star Bob Marley at age 36, and it’s most common on skin that’s less exposed to the sun, such as the hands, soles and under nails. Researchers don’t know what causes acral melanoma or how to prevent it. It is often overlooked or misdiagnosed during skin exams.

      Skin cancer is often missed or misdiagnosed in black patients.

      Historically, black and dark-skinned people have been excluded from efforts to fight skin cancer. Long ignored by sunscreen makers and the medical community lacking diversity and cultural competence – acknowledging the traditions, beliefs and values ​​of patients – many are not told sunscreen safety or how to check their skin for signs of damage or cancer .

      To be sure, dark-skinned people are less likely to develop skin cancer. The incidence of melanoma in whites is more than 20 times that of African Americans, and the overall lifetime risk for whites is 1 in 38 compared with 1 in 1,000 for blacks. Melanin does provide some protection against sun damage, so people with higher levels of melanin (those with darker skin) are better protected than those with fairer skin.

      But overall, black patients are more likely to be diagnosed with various forms of skin cancer at a later stage and Mortality is higher, says Dr. Janiene Luke to educate doctors and the public about skin health.

      Five-year melanoma survival rate for non-Hispanic blacks is 66, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-Hispanic non-Hispanic For whites, it’s 90 percent. The American Cancer Society says that in the United States, 1 in 3 black men or women diagnosed with melanoma succumbs to the disease, compared to at least 1 in 7 non-Hispanic whites. a disease.

        Given the known discrepancies in outcomes, Dr. Valerie Harvey, president of the Society of Pigmented Skin, said two areas of research are needed: Research Educational programs to see if increased awareness leads to earlier diagnosis and improved survival; and to identify risk factors for dark-skinned patients, especially those that contribute to the development of melanoma in places with less sun exposure.

        Raising cultural competence and diversity in dermatology is just one step towards improving diagnosis and outcomes. According to the latest data, less than 3 percent of dermatologists nationwide are black. Orthopedics is the only medical specialty with a smaller share.

        Dermatology has historically been one of the most competitive specialties in medicine, according to Michelle, clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine Dr. Henry. In addition to rigorous academic requirements, admission to a dermatology program depends on connections and extensive networks with mentors, which can be expensive. This has traditionally created barriers for black medical students wanting to pursue dermatology, Henry said.

          “There are so many barriers that make it difficult for many students of color to do what they need to do in such a small space things,” she said.

          Recent initiatives to help students overcome these barriers are starting to pay off, Penn Department of Dermatology Responsible for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vice-President, the Skin of the Society of Color. The American Academy of Dermatology initiative includes a comprehensive review of residency applications, guidance, and programs to increase interest in high school students and prepare them for college and medical school.

          Medical app company VisualDX is working to reduce medical difference. Skin cancer may be different on lighter skin than darker skin, and because doctors may only be trained in descriptions of white skin, there is an increased chance of misdiagnosis in dark-skinned people.

          The sunscreen industry has also changed.

          Jorge Martínez – Senior Vice President and Partner at C+R Research in Chicago, says the medical community has failed to Adequate skin care for dark-skinned individuals reflects the lack of sunscreen that meets patient needs, especially for black people. .

          “What it did is, it pushed black entrepreneurs, from one day to another, to come up with their own solutions and its own products,” says Martínez-Bonilla. “Not just because of the lack of availability, but because these people know their needs best.”

          Katonya Breaux is one of the entrepreneurs . She wasn’t thrilled when she noticed in her 30s and 40s that she had moles on her face and neck similar to the ones she saw growing up on older family members. She thinks it’s just part of aging. But her dermatologist said it was a sunburn.

          “I was really shocked. I was like: ‘But I’m beige,'” she said, adding Said she had no experience with sunscreen growing up. “It’s so foreign to me. I’m sure we just don’t need it.”

          After struggling to find sunscreen Without leaving a residue or feeling like it burned her skin, she worked with a chemist who helped her create a tinted mineral sunscreen. At first, she only intended to use it for personal use, but eventually she launched Unsun Cosmetics. The Los Angeles-based company teaches skin care and sells products designed for dark-skinned consumers.

          Shontay Lundy finds a sunscreen that won’t “leave a blue, purple or other color on my skin” Frost. Until, she said, “I didn’t realize it didn’t exist.”

          So, in 2016, she developed the product Left without residue and finally launched the Black Girl Sunscreen.

          Education is the foundation of her company’s advertising, Lundy said. “Our mission is to equip people of all ages and skin tones with the right sun protection products to take their skin health seriously and protect themselves from sun damage.”

          Shelton, who stumbled across the checkout line at a store that led to her cancer diagnosis, says she has become an evangelist for skin self-exams and sunscreen, and is now caught in her local swimming pool. Known as “Sunscreen Lady”. The skin cancer she had may not have been caused by sun exposure, but it raised her awareness of skin damage and other types of skin cancer.

          She has been cancer-free since doctors successfully removed the tumor on her toe and underwent chemotherapy and radiation. But the experience was traumatic.

          “It changed lives,” she said.

          Still, she says, she has returned to an active and fulfilling life. She says she will be forever grateful to the stranger who pulled her aside that day, and the doctor who didn’t trust the first batch of labs back, choosing instead to trust his Intuition to start treatment right away.

          Tips for avoiding skin cancer for all skin tones:

            Avoid direct sunlight, especially between 10am and 4pm Keep baby completely away Sunshine.

            Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily. Every two Reapply once every hour or after swimming or activity/sweating.
            DO NOT Leave sunscreen in the car as temperature fluctuations can cause it to malfunction and become less effective.
            Wear clothing that covers arms and legs.

          • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, ears and neck.
          • Wear UV-blocking sunglasses.

            Avoid indoor sunbeds.

          Examine your skin from head to toe monthly. Look for dark spots or plaques, or ones that are growing, bleeding, or changing growths; sores that heal slowly or that heal and return; patches of skin that feel rough and dry; and dark lines under or around fingernails or toenails. Examine nail beds, palms, soles of feet, head, calves, groin, and Other places with insufficient sunlight. If you have any concerns, please contact your doctor.

          At least one visit Board Certified Dermatologist Full Body Exam Year.

        2022 Caesars Health News. By Tribune Content Agency , issued by LLC.

            Citation : Skin cancer is a risk regardless of skin color. But on August 18, 2022 from

        This document is protected by copyright. Except for any fair dealing for private study or research purposes, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is for reference only.



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