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Skin Cancer Melanoma have increased in California Hispanics

January 24th, 2006

Skin Cancer Melanoma have increased in California Hispanics

Hat protects from Sun

A new study in the upcoming issue of CANCER medical journal reports of the increased rate of the deadly melanoma skin cancer among California Hispanics.

Hispanics have increased cases of melanoma compared to Caucasians and they tend to have confined thicker lesions which are more deadly.  Melanoma is not the most common type of skin cancer, but it is the most deadly.  Skin cancer is usually more dangerous when more layers of skin is penetrated with the tumor.  Melanoma cancer typically was at the highest risk for fair-skinned people.


Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in California.  The melanoma cases of Hispanics are small with only about 200 new cases a year and around 50 deaths.

Myles G. Cockburn, Ph.D. from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and his colleagues studied data for melanoma-related mortality rates of Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites in California.  From the time of 1988 and 2001, the researchers found a significant increase among Hispanic men for death caused by melanoma.  The Hispanic males on average had an increase of 1.8 percent per year, but jumped up to 7.3 percent per year between 1996 and 2001.  The Hispanic women and whites were not seen as a significant increase for melanoma.


The Hispanics had more invasive and thicker melanomas and because it has been traditionally thought to be more of a danger to whites, the Hispanics are not being diagnosed on a preventive measure and are not being careful of the suns rays.  It is not certain that sunscreen will prevent melanoma.  Avoiding the sun and wearing protective clothing is the best prevention for melanoma at this time.

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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer


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