Author(s): Halder RM, Bang KM
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Abstract Skin cancer is rare in blacks compared with whites in the United States. The most common form is squamous-cell carcinoma, not basal-cell carcinoma, as it is in whites. Sunlight does not appear to be an important etiologic factor in skin cancer in blacks, as most lesions occur on covered areas. Malignant melanoma is low in frequency but commonly affects acral areas and has a poor prognosis. Mycosis fungoides and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans appear to have a high frequency among skin cancers. Squamous-cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and mycosis fungoides have a relatively high mortality rate in blacks. Bowen's disease and Kaposi's sarcoma occur in blacks but are rare. As there is a high frequency of squamous-cell carcinoma of the skin in blacks, prevention and early detection should benefit the patient. Considering the difficulties encountered in applying epidemiologic methods to skin cancer on a national scale, etiologic studies should be conducted in carefully selected areas. Future investigations of skin cancer in blacks should include an examination of risk factors such as burns, trauma, and diet and familial and immunologic aspects as well.
This article was published in Dermatol Clin
and referenced in Journal of Pigmentary Disorders