More Asians and Hispanics Developing Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Interview with:
Arisa Ortiz, MD, FAAD Assistant Clinical Professor
Director, Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology
Senior author: Brian Jiang, MD and
First author Tiffany Loh, BS
Department of Dermatology UC San Diego

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) are the most common type of malignancy in the United States, affecting an estimated 3.5 million people each year. Previous perception has remained that skin cancer risk in Hispanics and Asians is lower than that of Caucasians. However, despite historically lower rates of skin cancer, in recent years, the incidence of skin cancer in these groups has reportedly been increasing in the United States. As Hispanics and Asians constitute two of the most rapidly expanding ethnic groups in the US, the rise in NMSCs in these populations is particularly concerning.

The finding from our study were as follows: Hispanic patients were significantly younger than Caucasians and Asians (p=0.003, 0.023 respectively). The majority of Non-melanoma skin cancers in Caucasians occurred in men, while this gender ratio was reversed for both Hispanics and Asians. There were significantly more cases of Non-melanoma skin cancers occurring in the “central face” area in Hispanics. Race was not a significant predictor for specific NMSC type (BCC or SCC).

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?


1)    It should bring attention to the incidence of skin cancers in Hispanics and Asians.

2)    It would underscore the importance of proper counseling about photoprotection in darker skin populations.

3)    It should correct the misconception that only Caucasians develop skin cancer.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further research is warranted to determine why women of Asian and Hispanic descent are more at risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer than their male counterparts.


AAD March 2015 presentation discussing:

Nonmelanoma skin cancer in Hispanic and Asian populations

[wysija_form id=”2″] Interview with: Arisa Ortiz, MD, FAAD Assistant Clinical Professor (2015). More Asians and Hispanics Developing Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer 

Last Updated on June 10, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD