Anyone Can Get Skin Cancer
Published July 2021
Even if you rarely get sunburn, you can still get skin cancer.
"People of African, Asian, Latinx and Native American descent are often diagnosed with skin cancer in a late stage, when it is more difficult to treat," says Northwestern Medicine Dermatologist Roopal V. Kundu, MD.
Dr. Kundu is the founder and co-director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Ethnic Skin and Hair, one of the first centers in the U.S. specifically dedicated to the treatment of skin, hair and nail conditions unique to people with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, such as Black, Asian, Indigenous, Latinx and mixed descent. Northwestern Medicine Dermatologists Julia Marie Mhlaba, MD, and Oyinade Aderibigbe, MD, are co-directors and leaders of the center as well.
For these individuals, melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is most often detected on the lower extremities, particularly on acral sites like the feet.
Even if you have a darker skin tone, the best way to reduce your risk of skin cancer is by protecting your skin from sun damage. Here are more sun safety tips for people of color.