Reality Check #2: People of Color Can Get Skin Cancer
“Any other notion is false,” says Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale New Haven Hospital. Still, it’s hard to convince some of us. A study conducted last year by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that more than 60 percent of Black adults never wear sunscreen. And according to a 2009 Archives of Dermatology study, 62 percent of people of color do not believe they are at risk for skin cancer, yet 40 percent of them had been burned by the sun in the past. This line of thinking can be deadly: “Just one severe burn can increase your risk of getting skin cancer,” Gohara states. Awareness is key, especially since skin cancer detection is often delayed in people of color and that can mean the difference between life and death.