Los Angeles, California (AHN) - A new study finds that melanoma is increasing among Hispanics who live in California. Men are especially prone to the deadly skin cancer. The tumors are generally thicker than those found on non-Hispanics, which is indicative of a higher risk, says Myles G. Cockburn, lead author of the study.
Hispanics "believe they will be protected because of their (darker) skin color, which may be true but is not always true. Having darker skin is a potentially protective factor for melanoma," says Cockburn, who is an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine.
He says the most important risk factor for skin cancer are large moles that are more than 4 millimeters in diameter.
Researchers examined data from the California Cancer Registry. They found that the rate of invasive melanoma increased markedly among Hispanic men, compared to women, between 1988 and 2001, reports HealthDay News.
The rate rose an average of 1.8 percent per year. It increased 7.3 percent each year between 1996 and 2001.
While light-skinned individuals are still at the most risk for melanoma, the increase of the cancer among Hispanics shows there needs to be more education among that group, Cockburn says.
The study is published in the March 1 issue of the journal Cancer.
Yvonne Lee - All Headline News Staff Reporter