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What areas of the skin are susceptible to cancer?


Dear Doc,

What areas are susceptible to cancer of the skin?


Dear Wayne,

All areas of the skin are vulnerable!!

Many black people develop melanoma in their palms and the soles of their feet, though these are areas that many would not consider to be exposed to intense sunshine. Traditionally, we expect areas that are exposed to the sun to carry higher risks, like the shoulders, ears, back, forearm and around the eyes.{{more}}

Some skin cancers don’t metastasize and thus the spread is by growth or extension from the point of origin. They creep along the skin layer that is affected. This is common with melanomas in the region around the eye. The cancer can be missed for long periods during which it can occupy the orbit (the region that the eye occupies). Black skinned persons are susceptible to these scenarios, as many will ignore or not appreciate the skin colour changes associated with these cancers.

Fishermen, farmers and construction workers who spend significant hours in the sun must be aware of the possibilities of skin cancers. Many in these fields ignore the risks and it is not unusual to see these categories of the workforce bareback and without hats or other forms of head protection from the sun. Sun exposure is one of the most significant links to skin cancers and direct long-term exposure must be avoided.

Even on an overcast day, when the breeze is soothing and the sun cannot be seen, the ultraviolet (UV) rays are still penetrating the clouds and causing damage to your skin.


SVG Cancer Society,

P.O. Box 709, Kingstown.

Email: [email protected]