Few Latinos Screened for Skin Cancer


It’s a tale not that common. A Latina never thought she would get skin cancer.  Yet, during an annual physical, her doctor discovered a suspicious-looking mole.  A biopsy revealed the mole to be a malignant melanoma.  Fortunately for this Latina, her cancer was discovered early.
What makes this an unlikely tale is in the U.S. only 1 in 14 Hispanics has ever been screened for skin cancer, compared to one in four whites.  This disparity in cancer screening is largely due to the lack of health insurance for Latinos.
Connecticut residents have a greater risk than the national average. The rate of new melanoma diagnoses—responsible for 75% of all skin cancer deaths—was 31% higher in Connecticut than the national average and was the 8th highest in the U.S.
Skin cancer is a special concern for young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 55 children children born in 2005 will be diagnosed with melanoma – nearly 30 times the rate for people born in 1930. Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for people ages 15 to 29.
The American Cancer Society has information on skin cancer prevention and treatment.