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Carol A. Coram, Ed.D. is the Washington State Lead Ambassador for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). She is also a member of the ACS CAN Black Volunteers Caucus. ACS CAN does the lobbying in Washington, DC and state capitals for the American Cancer Society.

May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month…..

Yes, Black people can get melanoma and skin cancer. While Black people are less likely to get this type of cancer, if diagnosed, we have a lower rate of surviving. Melanoma is harder to diagnose in Black people and contrary to what most folks think, skin tone is not the issue. Why? Because it presents itself under finger and toe nails, inside the mouth, on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. So, if you find any abnormalities on and in these areas (or any other parts of your body), such as irregularly shaped flat dark spots, get checked! Medical providers may lack the experience to diagnose melanoma in Black people which puts us at risk. Be insistent and your own best advocate. Like any other types of cancer, early detection is the key.


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