SKIN cancer in people of colour requires more attention according to a new study presented at the Skin of Color Update meeting, New York City, USA. Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the USA; however, it is less common in people of colour. Despite this fact, it is essential that skin cancer education and prevention are shared among all ethnic populations.
The aim of this study was to assess skin cancer awareness and to improve the knowledge of patients of colour, including encouraging the use of sunscreens as well as self-skin exams. The individuals who participated in the experiment had either Fitzpatrick skin types lV-Vl and/or were self-categorised as a person of colour. Most of the patients were either Black ethnic or African American (81%); of Asian ethnic populations (15%); or of other Native or White ethnic populations.
In the survey, the participants were given an educational brochure that included images of skin of colour, and facts that included how skin of colour is affected by skin cancer. Prior to the survey, about 85% of the participants agreed that people with skin of colour can develop skin cancer; however, after the survey, 97% of the people agreed. Furthermore, before the survey only 15% were able to recognise that hands, feet, and nails as the most common locations for melanoma in skin of colour, but after the survey, 65% of the participants were able to identify these locations.
The self-skin examination was carried out by only 15% prior to the survey; however, 58% participated in self-skin exams following the survey. The study showed that there was sparsity awareness and education about skin cancer in skin of colour. The survey resulted in remarkable improvements in the knowledge of skin cancer detection and prevention. This study plays a role in addressing health inequalities for patients with skin of colour.