Spectral color

Local doctor discusses myths surrounding skin cancer risks in people of color – WSB-TV Channel 2

ATLANTA – Having fun in the sun is great, but sun damage comes with risks, and you might be at more risk than you think.

According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the most common cancer in the United States is skin cancer.

Channel 2’s Linda Stouffer spoke with local surgeon Dr Frederick Durden and he said many people can be wrong about the risks of skin cancer.

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“This idea that people of color can’t get skin cancer is something I hear a lot. And in my own life, it’s something I’ve heard from my own family members,” said Dr. Durden.

Durden explains that the melanin in darker skin tones only offers “some” protection.

“They can get skin cancer, at a lower rate, but it’s often diagnosed later and its prognosis is worse because it’s diagnosed later. But it is completely wrong and it is a dangerous thing to pass. We have to work hard to fix this problem,” Durden said.

In order to protect your family, Durden suggests covering up, wearing hats and goggles.

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He also said to read the labels on the sunscreen.

“One of the most important things is to make sure it says ‘broad spectrum,'” Durden said.

He also says that certain forms of ultraviolet light can be a possible factor in aging and cancer.

“This ultraviolet light has several A, B and C forms. C is mainly absorbed by the atmosphere, while B is the one most often linked to burns or cancer. But A may also be a contributing factor to cancer, as well as aging,” Durden said.

Dr. Durden advises people to look for any irregularities in their skin. If they are concerned about any part of their skin, they should have it checked out.

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