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HHS HealthBeat (June 27, 2011)

Anyone can get skin cancer

African-American senior couple talking with doctor
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Skin color doesn’t give anyone an immunity to skin cancer. Although people with light skin have greater risk than people with darker skin, people with darker skin can also be at risk. The National Cancer Institute has a new brochure, ``Anyone Can Get Skin Cancer,’’ that tells about it.

Irene Ekwede is a dermatological nurse at the National Institutes of Health:

``When minority Americans are diagnosed with melanoma, the most severe form of skin cancer, it is usually at a later stage, when the disease is harder to treat.’’ (10 seconds)

To reduce your risk of skin cancer, use sunscreens with an SPF factor of at least 15, which block ultraviolet B and A rays that can lead to skin damage, and clothes that don’t expose a lot of skin to the sun.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: June 30, 2011