A quite long video, which can be helpful to keep running, as you get used to checking your own skin each month.
The video focuses on melanoma, which is the most serious form of skin cancer, although there may be more to find. Basal and squamous cell carcinoma can occur on dark skin, along with issues on specific areas of your body.
Lighter areas of skin can be vulnerable, such as the soles of your feet, or palms, or the tissue underneath nails. Spotting cancers in other places requires extra care, as they are often pigmented and harder to recognise than on fair skin.
Beyond finding immediate issues, self checking your skin can also make you more aware of change over time, or sores failing to heal. Either should act as a warning, with a visit to a specialist dermatologist making sense.
A Proven Rationale
Although cancer is less common on darker skin, there are still over 10,000 cases a year across the UK. The idea that having skin cancer is dependent on ethnicity is simply not backed up by the data.
What the data does confirm is that people with darker skin have lower survival rates. There may be subtle, genetic reasons, along with greater sun exposure due to less perceived risk but later diagnosis is the key issue.
Annual checks by a dermatologist will help to reduce this but self checking is equally vital. You get to know your own skin and are in the best position to quickly spot any lesions in need of a professional view.
Certainty Can Follow
Please don’t be held back from seeking support by doubt, when you can not be expected to be certain, with skin cancers sometimes hard to discern.
The sun, or other causes can bring lesions which are associated with previous skin damage, or a range of hyperpigmentation but don’t assume this is the case. Clarification is valuable and could be life saving.
Treatment may in any event help with other issues and knowing what a problem is can bring peace of mind. Consider that doctors can find diagnosing cancer on darker skin difficult, them referring you to a specialist, or you referring yourself is rational.
We truly hope you get into the habit of checking your skin and that you do not come across any problems. Where there are concerns, we ensure the right assistance is available for each, unique case.
Alongside knowledge, diagnosis is supported by the latest equipment. Skin cancer screening brings digital imaging and software to assist, modern forms of microscopy see way beyond the naked eye and can avoid the need for a biopsy.
A consultant can take your and your family’s medical history into account, along with risk factors, from work, or lifestyle. Self checking is a great way to feel secure and dedicated dermatology for darker skin is there when you need support.