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Did you know that skin cancer can occur in all skin types?

People of all skin colours including those with darker skin tones can get skin cancer. Even if a person never gets sunburnt, they can get skin cancer. 

Since the risk of skin cancer in fair skinned tones is more prominently publicised in the media, darker-skinned individuals may be unaware that they too are at risk. 

People of colour should take all recommended preventative measures against skin cancer. 

Of the skin cancers, acral lentiginous melanoma accounts for 29-72% of melanoma among dark-skinned individuals and should therefore be looked out for. It can also occur in those with fairer skin tones, however less commonly than other skin cancers. 

Acral Lentiginous Melanoma

This subtype of melanoma is not related to sun exposure and occurs on the palm, sole, or beneath the nail, often starting as enlarging patch of discoloured skin.

Acral lentiginous melanoma may be recognised by:

  • A large size (>6 mm)

  • Variable pigmentation, often a mixture of brown, and blue-grey, black and red colours. It can also be non-pigmented.

  • A smooth surface initially, later becoming thicker with an irregular surface that may be dry or warty

  • Ulceration or bleeding

Skin cancer occurs in all skin types.

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