Wednesday, August 13, 2014
The Late Bob Marley Died From ALM -- What is it? And How Can You Protect Yourself?
Many people think that dark-skinned people don't sunburn and therefore do not require sunscreen. That is a myth! The facts reveal another story that all dark-skinned people need to be aware of in order to protect themselves not just from sunburn but from something more dangerous - skin cancer.
Anyone can get melanoma
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Although fair-skinned people are most at risk for melanoma, dark-skinned people are not immune to it. Many people assume that because dark-skinned people have more melanin, the pigment that not only gives skin its color but also helps block damaging ultraviolet rays from the sun, they are immune to skin cancer. That is simply not true.
The skin cancer that is most dangerous to African Americans
There is a type of cancer that disproportionately affects African Americans. It is called Acral Lentiginous Melanoma (ALM). It is an aggressive type of cancer that mostly affects African Americans and other dark-skinned people such as Asians, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics. It's aggressiveness makes it very dangerous.
Why ALM is so dangerous
In addition to it's aggressiveness, another reason ALM is so dangerous is because it is often overlooked. An example is superstar Reggae musician Bob Marley who died from ALM in 1981 at the young age of 36. It was misdiagnosed as a soccer bruise under his toenail. ALM occurs in other unusual areas such as on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, which is why many people miss it until the cancer has progressed.
For more information on ALS, visit www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2861213/
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