WSFA/NBC - Warnings about the risk of skin cancer are often directed toward people who are fair-skinned but now there is a new effort underway to make sure people of color know they can be affected by it too.
Kai Dunbar, 17, was given a life threatening diagnosis when she was just 9-years-old.
"I had a mole on the right side of my face and it started changing so I told my mom about it."
Kai's mother, Kimberly Dunbar said, "It started to raise and it started to bleed and itch."
Turns out, Kai had stage three skin cancer. The news stunned Kai's mom.
"It never crossed our minds because she never played outside a lot. We were never out in the sun so this was a fluke," said Kimberly
According to the Centers for Disease Control, incidents of skin cancer among blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are lower than in whites. Research shows, however, people of color with cancer tend to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage which leads to lower survival chances than whites.
Kai and her family are grateful for a positive outcome and hoping others get the message.
Kai said, "You should still get checked. You should still watch for changes, watch how much sun you get when you leave, wear sunscreen, wear long sleeves, hats, protect yourself."