Qualitative exploration of melanoma awareness in black people in the USA. BMJ open de Vere Hunt, I., Owen, S., Amuzie, A., Nava, V., Tomz, A., Barnes, L., Robinson, J. K., Lester, J., Swetter, S., Linos, E. 2023; 13 (1): e066967


Although black patients are more likely to have advanced melanomas at diagnosis, with a 5-year survival rate among black patients of 70% compared with 92% for white patients, black people are generally not the focus of melanoma public health campaigns. We sought to explore awareness and perspectives of melanoma among black people to inform the development of relevant and valued public health messages to promote early detection of melanoma.Inductive thematic analysis of in-depth semistructured interviews.Interviews were conducted with participants via video software or telephone in the USA.Participants were adults from the USA who self-identified as African American or black. Recruitment flyers were posted around the San Francisco Bay Area and shared on our team Facebook page, with further participants identified through snowball sampling.We interviewed 26 participants from 10 different states. Overall, 12 were men and 14 were women, with a mean age of 43 years (range 18-85). We identified five key themes regarding melanoma awareness in black people: (1) lack of understanding of term 'melanoma' and features of skin cancer; (2) do not feel at risk of melanoma skin cancer; (3) surprise that melanoma can occur on palms, soles and nails; (4) skin cancer awareness messages do not apply to or include black people; and (5) Importance of relationship with healthcare and habits of utilisation.Analysis of these in-depth semistructured interviews illuminate the pressing need for health information on melanoma designed specifically for black people. We highlight two key points for focused public health messaging: (1) melanoma skin cancer does occur in black people and (2) high-risk sites for melanoma in black people include the palms, soles and nail beds. Therefore, public health messages for black people and their healthcare providers may involve productively checking these body surface areas.

View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-066967

View details for PubMedID 36631232

View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9835941