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Tuesday, March 2. 2010

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Tuesday, March 2. 2010

Skin Cancer in Hispanic and African American Skin

Most patients with Hispanic or African American heritage are not aware of their risk for developing  skin cancers.

Malignant Melanoma, for example, is more common in white skin but can be more aggressive in back skin.  A recent article in the Journal of Surgical Oncology (Vol. 78, No. 1: 10 – 16) showed that when African Americans develop the disease, it’s deadlier.  African Americans have a 45% survival rate at five years compared to 69% in whites.

There may be several reasons for this: genetics may play a role and health care providers think of skin cancer less often in darker skin. These cancers may also occur in unusual places such as bottom of the feet, under the nails, or the genital area.

Think A,B,C,D,E

A mole that is Asymmetrical.

Irregular Border

Multi Colored

Diameter greater than 6 mm

An Evolving mole that stands out.

Make sure your provider checks you head to toe on a yearly basis.

Dr. A. David Rahimi

Category

Tuesday, March 2. 2010

Skin may hold the Key to predicting Cancers elsewhere.

There is a wonderful article in the Cutaneous Oncology section of Dermatology Times (February 2010) by the veteran researcher Harry Rubin D.V.M.,D.Sc. that confirmed what I had been suspecting for some time: Skin and skin cells may act as early detector of internal cancers.

Skin cells contain fibroblasts which contain a copy of our genetic material. Flaws in the genetic material, which may lead to internal cancers such as Colon Cancer, can easily be researched in fibroblast cultures obtained from skin.

Many other internal conditions: Diabetes, Lupus, Hepatitis, Thyroid Disorders, etc. have skin manifestations that are often the way these conditions present themselves.

Other exciting research involves Stem Cells and their abundance in skin. Maybe one day harvested skin can help cure internal malignancies and forever change the course of medicine.

A. David Rahimi, MD, FAAD,