Friday, 20 March 2015

Skin Cancer Rates Rise for Hispanic, Asian Women


Shifting preferences for tanning, along with belief that darker skin is protected, may explain trend

HealthDay – Not on Site

By Maureen Salamon

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- While most white people who develop skin cancer are older men, the reverse is true in Asian and Hispanic populations, a new study suggests.

Researchers contend that shifting preferences for tanning among Asians and Hispanics in the United States -- along with the belief that their darker skin protects them from the sun's harmful rays -- may be contributing to rising skin cancer rates in both groups.

"I think the main point we were trying to bring home is that ethnic skin is not really thought of as at risk for skin cancer, but all ethnicities need to be mindful and diligent about getting their skin checked and protecting themselves from the sun," said study author Dr. Arisa Ortiz, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

The study is to be presented Friday at the American Academy of Dermatology's annual meeting in San Francisco. Research presented at scientific conferences typically has not been published or peer-reviewed, and results are considered preliminary.

More than 3.5 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed in the United States each year, making it the most commonly diagnosed malignancy, according to the American Cancer Society.

Called non-melanomas to distinguish them from melanoma (a more aggressive and deadly type of skin cancer), these cancers develop on sun-exposed skin on the face, ears, neck, lips and back of the hands. They rarely spread to other areas of the body, and treatment typically involves removing the lesion.

Reviewing more than 4,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancers in white, Hispanic and Asian patients who underwent a specific type of surgical removal of those cancers, Ortiz and her colleagues found that 96 percent of cases occurred in whites. Of those patients, 64 percent were men with an average age of 66.

But in Asians and Hispanics, these ratios were reversed, with about two-thirds of skin cancers occurring in women. Hispanic women were an average age of 62; Asian women were an average age of 70.

source : Skin Cancer Rates Rise for Hispanic, Asian Women

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