Race, genetics, and health are all related in some way or another. Race is a little harder to define because it is not necessarily something that can be determined by tests, it is mostly constructed from a cultural point of view. To me, race is something made up of your culture, beliefs, religion, community, and many other factors. Race isn’t determined by a person’s biological make-up, so it is not related to genetics. I think that health can be related to race because some diseases/illnesses are more prevalent in certain races. For example, malaria in African-Americans and skin cancer in Caucasians. Not necessarily related to race alone, but could be caused by a number of things related to race and ethnicity, such as environment and available resources. All people, no matter the race, have the same biological make up and genetics. Genetics definitely play a role in health, however. Many diseases or traits are passed from parents to offspring, which can result in many differences in health in the offspring based on the genetic composure.
The health disparity I chose was skin cancer in caucasians because it is such a prevalent topic today because of not only genetic factors but also social determinants. Genetically, caucasians are most susceptible to skin cancer in comparison to other races due to the lack of melanin in the skin protecting against harmful UV rays that can cause different types of skin cancer. Darker skinned people have more melanin to protect their skin than caucasians. Social determinants come into play, especially in American Caucasians. In today’s society, it is typically a social norm to tan indoors in tanning beds with high exposure to harmful UV rays. Appearance is a highly important thing today and many caucasians, myself guilty, expose themselves to UV rays to appear more tan/bronze. Caucasians are more likely to tan because of the obvious difference in skin color, being the lightest race. Because caucasians typically tan more than other races, that could be a reason that skin cancer is so much more prevalent in caucasians.
These graphs show exactly how many caucasian men/women have skin cancer in comparison to other races.