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No Matter How Light or Dark Your Skin Is, You Still May Be at Risk of Developing Skin Cancer

National Cancer Institute ConsumerFeature


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SKIN-CANCER IS THE MOST-COMMON FORM OF CANCER IN THE UNITED STATES.  AND, THE NUMBER OF NEW CASES IS INCREASING, EVERY YEAR:  IN 2010, OVER ONE-MILLION NEW CASES OF SKIN-CANCER WILL BE DIAGNOSED.  EVEN THOUGH SKIN-CANCER RATES ARE HIGHER IN PEOPLE WITH LIGHT SKIN THAN IN THOSE WITH DARKER SKIN, AFRICAN-AMERICANS CAN AND DO DEVELOP SKIN-CANCER.  MANY PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW THAT THERE ARE SEVERAL DIFFERENT TYPES OF SKIN-CANCER:  THE TWO MOST-COMMON TYPES ARE "BASAL-CELL CANCER" AND "SQUAMOUS-CELL CANCER"--BOTH OF WHICH ARE KNOWN AS "NON-MELANOMA SKIN-CANCER".  "MELANOMA"--A THIRD TYPE OF SKIN-CANCER--IS MUCH RARER, BUT IS ALSO MORE DEADLY.  "SQUAMOUS-CELL CANCER" IS THE MOST-COMMON FORM OF SKIN-CANCER AMONG AFRICAN-AMERICANS.  MOST SKIN-CANCERS CAN BE CURED--IF FOUND AND TREATED EARLY.  HOWEVER, SKIN-CANCER MAY BE MORE SERIOUS IN AFRICAN-AMERICANS, BECAUSE IT IS OFTEN DIAGNOSED LATER--AT A MORE-ADVANCED STAGE.  THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE OFFERS FREE RESOURCES WITH UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ON SKIN-CANCER.  TO LEARN MORE, CALL 1-800-4-"CANCER"--OR VISIT "CANCER"-DOT-GOV.


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