Bob Marley was born to his parents as Nesta Robert Marley on this day in 1945. The legendary musician and King of Reggae would have been 68-years-old today. Marley died at the age of 36 on May 11, 1981 when he lost his battle with skin cancer. The skin cancer was first found in 1977 when Marley complained of an injury on his toe that was not healing. He underwent surgery to remove the malignancy from his foot, but because of his Rastafarian beliefs did not heed doctors advice to have the toe completely removed in order to stop the spread of the cancer. Bob Marley passed away at a Miami hospital and left these last words to his son Ziggy, “Money can’t buy life.”
Although African-Americans and other individuals of color have a lower risk for skin cancer than people with fair skin, it is important to know that they are also at risk. It is often common for African-Americans and other dark-skinned populations to not catch the signs of skin cancer early. It is also a thought that if you have dark skin then you are more immune to skin cancer. This is not true! Darker-skinned people need to look for changes to their nail beds, the soles of the feet and hands. Checking for changes to your moles and skin every month and getting yearly check-ups with a Dermatologist is very important in skin cancer prevention.