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Consumer Alert: Dermatologists Warn Skin Cancer is an Equal-Opportunity Health Threat
Date:5/4/2009

adjusted, race/ethnic- and gender-specific invasive cutaneous melanoma incidence rates in Florida versus the general U.S. population were computed for the years 1992-2004.

When melanoma rates in Hispanic males were compared, the incidence of melanoma among this group was elevated in Florida. Specifically, Dr. Kirsner reported that the incidence of melanoma among male Hispanic patients residing in Florida was 20 percent higher than that of their counterparts in the SEER program. In the African-American population, black female patients in Florida had a 60 percent higher incidence of melanoma than that of black female patients reported in the SEER program - representing a significant difference in melanoma rates.

"Numerous studies also show that because of the perceived low risk of melanoma in Hispanics and African-Americans in the U.S., these patients are diagnosed later when melanoma is more advanced and much more likely to spread. As a result, they have poorer outcomes than Caucasians," said Dr. Kirsner. "We hope that earlier diagnosis of melanoma in black and Hispanic patients at a more favorable or treatable stage will ultimately improve melanoma survival rates in minority populations. Clearly, it is important for people of all races and ethnicities to protect their skin from ultraviolet light and to make an appointment to see a dermatologist at the first sign of a suspicious mole."

To educate the Hispanic population, the Academy is working with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health on its skin cancer public education initiative.

Monday, May 4, is Melanoma Monday(R) and the official launch of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month(R). Visit www.melanomamonday.org to find out how to perform a skin self-exam, download a body mole map to track changes in
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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