While it is true that the darker your natural skin pigmentation the lower your risk of melanoma, no one is immune. In Hispanics, as expected the rate of melanoma is lower than non-Hispanic whites. However the melanomas that are diagnosed in this patient population are on average more advanced and the melanoma-specific survival is lower for Hispanics than for non-Hispanic whites. The reasons for this disparity are multi-factorial. Certainly providers may not consider the diagnosis of melanoma as readily in Hispanic patients and so hesitate to biopsy a lesion that they would have biopsied in a higher risk group. However discrepancy in the quality of care once the diagnosis is made is likely a factor in the poorer overall outcomes.

Take home message, whatever your skin type, if a lesion looks suspicious have it checked by a dermatologist. If a diagnosis of skin cancer is made have it treated by a dermatologist who specializes in the management of skin cancer.


Melanoma in US Hispanics: Recommended Strategies to Reduce Disparities in Outcomes
Cutis 2018 Apr 01;101(4)243-246, VM Harvey