Golden Years Sun Safety: Seniors and Skin Cancer Awareness

June 28, 2024

Skin cancer, the abnormal growth of skin cells, most commonly develops on areas exposed to the sun. However, it can also occur on less sun-exposed areas, such as the palms, beneath fingernails or toenails. As seniors age, their risk of developing skin cancer increases. Sun safety is very important, since one of the most preventable types of cancer is skin cancer. Here’s what you need to know:

Types of Skin Cancer:

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma: The most common type, often appearing as a pearly or waxy bump.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Usually presents as a red, scaly patch or sore.
  • Melanoma: The deadliest form, characterized by changes in moles or new growths.

Risk Factors for Seniors:

  • Sun Exposure: Accumulated sun exposure over a time contributes to skin cancer risk.
  • Age: Around 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70.
  • Fair Skin: Light-skinned individuals are at higher risk.
  • Gender: More men over 55 develop melanoma.

How Just Like Family Home Care Can Help:

  • Assistance with Dressing: Help seniors dress in sun protective clothing, such as lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants to cover arms, shoulders, and legs, as well as wide-brimmed hat to protect face, ears, and neck. 
  • Assistance with Sunscreen: Help seniors apply broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen, which is a highly recommended method of preventing skin cancer.
  • Assistance with Appointments: Help seniors attend dermatology appointments for regular skin checks.
  • Supportive Care: Provide emotional support during diagnosis and treatment.

Remember, one of the most preventable forms of cancer is skin cancer.  An early detection and professional assistance play a vital role in management and treatment. Just Like Family Home Care plays an essential role in helping seniors maintain skin health and overall well-being.