The Secret: Sometimes it hides where the sun doesn't shine If you're on the hunt for suspicious moles, no one would fault you for going straight to your shoulders, legs and nose. Basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer in the deepest layer of the skin) is the most common type of skin cancer. It's more prevalent in white women and light-skinned Latinas and typically shows up on the face, chest and hands. But Douglas S. Reintgen, M.D., a surgical oncologist based in Tampa Bay, Fla., says those aren't the only places skin cancer lives. Squamous cell carcinoma, cancer in the upper-most layer of skin, can develop on the mouth and scalp. Melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, can show up on the soles of the feet, groin area and around nails.
The Solution: Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes
Latinas should be on the lookout for sores and lesions that don't heal (or have lasted for longer than a month), and anything that is bleeding, oozing or crusting, which indicate basal cell carcinoma. African American women should look out for healing ulcers, growths, sores and scars from previous injuries -- especially on the legs, where squamous cell carcinoma hits most women of color. Don't forget to examine your palms, nail beds and toes, and the next time you're at the salon, ask your stylist to check for any suspicious areas on your scalp or other hard-to-reach areas, like behind your ears, for anything that looks unusual.
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