Skin cancer in black Americans: A review of 126 cases

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Primary cancer of the skin is rare in blacks. The records of 126 black patients with skin cancer were reviewed. Histopathologic findings included squamous cell carcinomas (43) basal cell carcinomas (39) malignant melanomas (8) dermatofibrosarcomas (16) Bowen's disease (6) mycosis fungoides (14) and sebaceous cell carcinoma (1). There is a higher percentage of skin cancer involving covered areas in blacks than among whites. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most common skin cancer in blacks. The distribution of basal cell carcinoma in blacks was 30 percent in this series, as compared with 80 percent in whites in the 1977 to 1978 survey. The majority of patients with squamous cell carcinoma had associated predisposing conditions and lesions on non-sun-exposed skin. Sunlight and occupational chemical exposure did not appear to be associated with skin cancer in blacks in this series.

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