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Health Tip: Know Your Melanoma Risk

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Do you think because you have dark skin pigmentation you don’t need to worry about skin cancer? Think again.

According to a LifeScript.com article, “13 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Melanoma,” people with darker skin pigment need to check regularly for melanoma risk. While many African-Americans believe they are not at risk, they are. They often get what is called acrolentiginous melanomas on the soles of their feet or under the their nails—these often are not found until at a later stage of development.

What are some other risk factors for melanoma?
• Being a “sun-worshipper,” either outside or in tanning beds
• Living in a sunny locale such as Florida or Arizona
• Having a weakened immune system which can be caused by cancer or AIDS

To lower your risk of developing melanoma, you can avoid sun exposure during the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is at its brightest. You also can make using a full-spectrum sunscreen a habit, and wearing protective clothing, like hats and long sleeved shirts and pants. It also may be a good idea to forgo the tanning beds.

Do you have a question about skin conditions? Check out EmpowHER’s pages. Sign-up, post a question, share your story, connect with other women in our groups and community, and feel EmpowHERed!

LifeScript.com: 13 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Melanoma
EmpowHER: Skin Cancer: Don’t Be Scared, Be Well Informed, Take Our Quiz

Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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