Each year, doctors treat millions of cases of skin cancer. In fact, the number of people diagnosed with skin cancer in a year is greater than the number of all other kinds of cancer combined. By the age of 70, one fifth of all people get skin cancer. Though easily treatable when caught early, if left untreated, skin cancer is deadly. Since the sun is the cause of most skin cancers, spending more time outside during the warm summer months increases the risk of developing skin cancer. That’s why June is Cancer from the Sun Month, a time of year to remind people of the dangers of skin cancer and how they can prevent it. To help you prevent skin cancer in your aging relative, here are six prevention tips.
#1 Use Sunscreen
There are a lot of reasons people don’t use sunscreen. They forget, it’s inconvenient, or they just don’t like the feel of it. However, sunscreen truly is the best way to prevent skin cancer, and we’ve known that for quite some time. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation has been telling people to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more since 1979. Remember to use enough sunscreen and reapply it about every two hours.
#2 Protect Skin with Clothing
Clothing can block out some of the sun’s rays. Choose long-sleeved shirts that are lightweight and long pants. There are even some clothes that are specially made to protect the skin from UV rays.
#3 Spend Time in the Shade
The sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If possible, avoid outdoor activities between those times. However, if the older adult is outside, try to remain in the shade as much as possible. Use a beach umbrella to cast shade or sit under trees.
#4 Put on a Hat
Wide-brimmed hats keep sun off of the face, head, neck, and ears. To further protect the eyes, the senior should wear sunglasses.
#5 Don’t Use Indoor Tanning Beds
Indoor tanning beds are no better for the skin than sun. Like the sun, they emit UV radiation, which is a known carcinogen. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, over 419,000 cases of skin cancer are linked to using indoor tanning beds each year.
#6 Regularly Examine Skin
Monthly self-examinations of the skin can mean identifying skin cancer early. Look for changes to existing moles, new moles, or other unusual changes in the skin. Report them to a doctor immediately.
Home care providers can help older adults to follow these tips for preventing skin cancer. A home care provider can remind the person to use sunscreen. If they have difficulty applying it, a home care provider can help them. Home care providers can also select clothing for the senior to wear that will be comfortable and cool, but also provide some protection from the sun. Home care providers can also help older adults to examine their skin, looking at their backs or the backs of their legs where they cannot see.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider senior care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.