Adelaide researchers say that by checking people’s buttocks, they have found there is no difference in the risk of skin cancer between people of dark or light skin.
Flinders Medical Centre’s researchers compared a group of people with melanoma and those with no history and found the melanoma group had a significant number of mast cells that are responsible for suppressing the immune system when in direct contact with sunlight.
Associate Professor Prue Hart, Principle Research Fellow says the buttocks are generally the best place on the body to check for mast cells as it is the part of the body less exposed to the sun, and closer to what our skin was like as a child.
‘It’s the surrogate for your skin when you were young and the greatest susceptibility to melanoma development,’ she said.
Professor Hart’s research also dispelled the notion that people are more susceptible to melanoma depending on their hair colour or skin type.
‘It really is a misnomer that people with red hair and very fair skin [are more likely]. They are very susceptible, but so are people who are quite dark skinned.’
(Source: ABC Online)