Skin Cancer Rates on the Rise for Hispanics, Asians
While the rate of non-melanoma skin cancer is still highest among older male Caucasians, new research reveals that younger Hispanic and Asian women are increasingly likely to contract skin cancer.
According to CancerTherapyAdvisor.com, the research, recently revealed at the American Academy of Dermatology’s annual meeting in San Francisco, showed that Hispanic skin cancer patients in particular are much younger on average than Caucasian or Asian patients.
Overall, 96% of skin cancer cases evaluated in the study occurred in whites, according to WebMD, and 64% of white patients were men. Among the Hispanic population, this trend is reversed; about two-thirds of Hispanic skin care patients were women. The average age for Hispanic skin care patients currently hovers around 62 years; for Caucasians, the average age is 66.6 years, and for Asians, it’s 70.3 years.
This trend can be largely attributed to shifts in tanning habits and preferences among younger Hispanics, WebMD reports. Because many Hispanics think their darker skin protects them from the sun’s rays, they’re more likely to go tanning or to avoid wearing sunscreen outside.
“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,” explained study author Dr. Arisa Ortiz, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
Each year, more than 3.5 million people are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancers in the U.S., making this cancer the most frequently diagnosed malignancy. Four million cosmetic surgery procedures are performed to remove tumors and skin cancer growth annually.
As the Hispanic population continues to be the fastest-growing demographic in the country, the need to educate this group about the dangers of skin cancer should be a high priority for healthcare professionals.