Your older parent grew up in the age when tanned skin came into fashion. Tanning was first introduced as a fashion trend by designer Coco Chanel in the 1920s. In the 1960s, having a tan was a status symbol, showing that the person had the time to lie around in the sun. Tanned skin was also viewed as a sign of health. Today, however, we know that a tan signifying good health is nothing more than a myth. In fact, spending too much time in the sun without protecting the skin can cause cancer. Knowing about the tanning myth and these 5 other skin cancer myths could help you spot or prevent skin cancer in your aging parent.
Myth #1: Not spending much time outside in the sun now eliminates the possibility of getting skin cancer.
Truth: Even if an older adult doesn’t spend a lot of time outside now, even short periods of time outside without using sunscreen or otherwise protecting the skin can lead to cancer. This is especially true for people who have fair skin. Just spending a few minutes each day walking around outside during peak sun hours can damage the skin and lead to squamous cell cancer.
Myth #2: Skin cancer is no big deal because it’s not deadly.
Truth: The American Cancer Society says that around 9,000 people per year die from melanoma skin cancer. While melanoma is the most dangerous kind of skin cancer, other kinds of skin cancer can also lead to death.
Myth #3 People with dark skin don’t get skin cancer.
Truth: Although someone with a darker skin tone may not be at as great of a risk for skin cancer as a fair skinned person, they can still get skin cancer. In fact, skin cancer in people with darker skin is often not diagnosed until later stages when treating it is harder.
Myth #4: People who are currently being treated for other kinds of cancer don’t get skin cancer.
Truth: According to the American Cancer Society, “Treatment for one type of cancer does not make you immune to other cancers.” As a matter of fact, some kinds of cancer treatment may cause your aging parent to sunburn more easily.
Myth #5: Rubbing on some sunscreen is all people need to prevent skin cancer.
Truth: While it’s important that older adults put on sunscreen before they go outside, there are other steps they should also take to prevent skin cancer. First, sunscreen must be used correctly, covering all exposed skin, and reapplied throughout the day. In addition to sunscreen, seniors should also wear clothing that protects the skin, such as a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirts, and pants. Finally, they should seek out shady areas to sit.
Senior care can help your parent to protect their skin from the sun. Senior care providers can remind them to use sunblock and assist with applying it if needed. Senior care can also help them to choose clothing that will protect the skin. And, senior care can provide indoor activities for your parent during the peak hours of the sun, keeping them inside when the sun is most dangerous.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Philadelphia, please talk to the caring staff at Better Care Home Health Services LLC today. Serving individuals and their families in Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks counties. Call Today: (267) 766-5218