Common Cancer Myths

MYTH: People with darker skin can’t get skin cancer.


TRUTH: Fair skin does boost your odds of developing both deadly melanoma and other types of skin cancer. But no hue grants you immunity from the disease, says Joshua Fox, M.D., medical director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C., in New York—especially if you fail to take preventive measures.

Dark-skinned patients and even their doctors can miss The Warning Signs of Skin Cancer, which frequently appear in often-overlooked places such as under their nails or on the palms, soles of the feet, and mucus membranes around the mouth, eyelid, and genitals, he notes. As a result, they’re often diagnosed at later stages, when cancers have become more difficult to treat.

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