Skin cancer is definitely less common for people of colour but sadly when it occurs the prognosis tends to be worse as issues are often detected at a more advanced stage. The Skin Cancer Foundation cites one study which found that the five-year survival rate for people of colour was 65%, versus 90% for white people.
People of colour tend to get skin cancer less as they have higher levels of melanin which acts as a natural defensive barrier to UV. However, lower incidence rates result in people of colour being less likely to check their skin for suspicious lesions, wear a high SPF sunscreen or UPF 50+ sun protective sun hats or clothing.
Another challenge is that skin cancers can be harder to detect due to the pigmentation of carcinomas. Also, and for a reason that remains unknown to the experts, skin cancers on people of colour are often found on the extremities (feet or hands) which can be difficult to detect. Tragically, Bob Marley died aged 36 due to melanoma from under his toenail.
The important takeaway is that everyone is at risk of sunburn, skin aging and skin cancer irrespective of their skin colour.
Dermatologists recommend that people of colour self-examine their skin once a month and get a skin check once a year.
Solbari sun protection offers a range of UPF 50+ sun protective clothing, broad brim sun hats, accessories and SPF 50+ sunscreen.
The Solbari Team
This blog is for information purposes only, always consult a medical professional.
Australian rules football coach and former player Jarryd Roughead took the time to answer our questions about his experience with skin cancer.
This blog post compares the protection offered by normal clothes and UPF clothes in order to understand the importance of sun protective clothing.