Skin Cancer Awareness and Prevention
Skin cancer can strike people of any age, including the elderly. Detecting skin cancer early leads to the best chances of treating and curing the disease, but prevention is the best course of action. Being informed about skin cancer is an important step in protecting your parent from the disease. Once you’re armed with information, you and your parent’s elder care providers can work as a team to help reduce your parent’s chance of getting skin cancer.
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and occurs in around one million Americans each year. Skin cancer occurs when skin cells grow abnormally. It usually develops on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun the most, but can also develop on skin that is not commonly exposed. There are three common kinds of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Of the three, melanoma poses the greatest threat since it is difficult to treat once it has spread, so early detection is imperative.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of skin cancer depend on the type of skin cancer. Below are the symptoms for each of the three types of skin cancer.
- A mole that changes in feel or size or that bleeds.
- A lesion with irregular borders with parts that appear blue, red, white, or bluish-black.
- A big brown spot with speckles that are darker.
- Dark lesions that appear on the soles, fingertips or toes, palms, or on mucous membranes.
Basal Cell Carcinoma Symptoms
- A waxy bump.
- A pearly bump.
- A lesion that is flat and flesh-colored or brown and scar-like.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma Symptoms
- A nodule that is firm and red.
- A lesion that is flat and has a scaly or crusted surface.
How can I help prevent my parent from getting skin cancer?
One of the best things you or your parent’s elder care provider can do in terms of protecting them from skin cancer is to make certain they wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. Here are some other ways to help prevent skin cancer:
- Use at least 2 tablespoons of sunscreen all over the body, and apply it 30 minutes before going outside.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, after swimming, or after heavy sweating.
- Do not allow the skin to burn.
- Stay in the shade as much as possible, especially from 10 AM to 4 PM.
- Wear clothing that protects against the sun, including a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses that protect the eyes from UV rays.
- Examine the skin on the entire body each month and have a doctor conduct a professional
If you or an aging loved-one care considering hiring elder care in Brandenton, FL, talk to the friendly staff at Help at Home Healthcare.
Naples, FL 34102
Joyce received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Ohio State University and her Master’s in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing from Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. There, she a assumed a faculty and administrative role and later received Hospice Administrator Certification. Her educational background, years of broad-based home care leadership with emphasis on continual improvement and customer service qualifies her to lead Help At Home Homecare in becoming an exceptional provider of private home care services in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Lee and Collier Counties.
Joyce lives in Sarasota with her husband, has three grown daughters and seven grandchildren.
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