Skin cancer proves to be color blind

NEW YORK —While studies have indicated that anyone can get melanoma, minorities often are less likely to be diagnosed when skin cancer is in its earlier stages, according to Marcy Street, the nation’s first African-American female to complete a fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery, a specialized form of skin cancer removal and treatment.

One recent study of 41,072 melanoma patients in Florida found advanced cases in 12% of whites, 18% of Hispanics and 26% of African-Americans.

“There is a fairly common misconception among African-Americans and Hispanics that we do not get skin cancer. Nothing could be further from the truth,” stated Street, a board-certified, Mayo Clinic-trained dermatologist. “Everyone, regardless of ethnicity, needs to get checked and often, especially if there is an abnormality of the skin.”

Abnormalities of the skin may include any changing moles, a growth on the skin that does not heal, or a “rash” that won’t go away with lotion.

Street also is the founder of the Doctor’s Approach skin care line, which includes acne-fighting products, anti-aging facial products and other specialty skin care items.

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