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Researchers call for targeted melanoma education efforts

Posted On Fri, October 1, 2010

Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that can be deadly if not treated early. It's estimated that more than 8,000 people died from the disease in 2008, according to the American Cancer Society.

Recent findings from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California is causing researchers to call for more focused prevention initiatives. Their data shows that while Hispanics are at a lower risk of developing melanoma than non-Hispanic whites, they tend to be diagnosed with the condition at earlier ages and have tumors that are harder to treat.

Study coauthor Dr. Christina Clarke says campaigns specifically targeting low-income Hispanics on the dangers of melanoma is needed.

"We are clearly seeing the worst kinds of melanoma - the thick tumors that have spread and are likely to be deadly - disproportionately among Hispanic men, especially those living in poorer neighborhoods," says Clarke.

It's important to note, however, that the Skin Cancer Foundation says everyone is at risk for developing melanoma. They note that one's risk level varies depending on a variety of factors. Given the fact that no one is immune to skin cancer, it's wise for people to make sure they have life insurance in case the unthinkable happens.

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