The Secret: You're less likely to get skin cancer, but if you do, it's more dangerous Although skin cancer is much less common in African Americans than in whites, when it does occur in women of color, it's particularly deadly. "Women of color are at a higher risk of dying from skin cancer because they are usually misdiagnosed and the cancer is caught too late and it begins to spread," says New York City dermatologist Michael Shapiro, M.D. Numerous studies show that women with darker skin tones have the highest death rate of individuals diagnosed with melanoma. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 52 percent of black patients and 26 of Hispanic patients receive initial diagnoses of advanced stage melanoma versus only 16 percent of white patients.
The Solution: Know your bod
Just because you can't see it with a quick glance in the mirror doesn't mean it's not there. Vow to thoroughly examine your skin head-to-toe every month. Knowing your body will help you spot new moles or other abnormalities (most people stop getting new ones after 25). In addition to your monthly self-exam, get a professional skin exam every year. Find a free skin cancer screening or visit your physician, who can help you with the ABCDE's (asymmetry, border, color, diameter, evolution) of any skin spots you find.
Ready to unleash your inner beauty junkie?
Enter your email and check the boxes below to get
free samples, exclusive deals, discounts at Total Beauty Shops,
and expert beauty tips delivered straight to your inbox!