Tips for Preventing and Recognizing Skin Cancer

Reduce skin cancer risk with these 3 tips.
by Dianna Malkowski, Physician Assistant & Nutritionist

April is National Cancer Control Month as designated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. As we support those fighting cancer and work toward controlling the disease, The CareGiver Partnership offers tips for preventing and recognizing skin cancer.

Spring is an ideal time to remind readers of the importance of taking steps to prevent skin cancer and to closely monitor any changes to the skin. Skin cancer rates rise with age, and prevention and early detection save lives. No matter what your age or where you live, these three tips can lower your risk of skin cancer.

           Avoiding sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Those who must be outside should stay in the shade, especially the elderly who are at greater risk for heat-related illness.

           Liberally applying broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher at least 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours, even on overcast days.

           Shading head, face, ears and neck with a wide-brim hat and sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB 

Skin cancer symptoms to look for include any growths or changes to skin, especially in the size or color of a mole. Any spread of pigmentation, scaling or bleeding, or tenderness or pain should be reported to your doctor. If you are fair and have a family history of melanoma, your risk for skin cancer is even greater.

In addition to sun protection, seniors managing incontinence should take extra steps to gently cleanse and protect skin against rashes, infections and ulcers, using products formulated for aging, injury-prone skin.

Skin cancer, the most common of all types of cancers, occurs in people of all ages, according to the American Cancer Society. Rates increase with age and are highest among those in their 80s. When melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin, the survival rate is as high as 97 percent, which is why it’s important to prevent and detect.

Dianna Malkowski is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Mayo Clinic trained nutritionist specializing in diabetes, cancer, wound healing, therapeutic diets and nutrition support. She serves on the board of professional advisers for The CareGiver Partnership and enjoys working with patients and caregivers alike. Ask Dianna a question, or call 1-800-985-1353.


Watch this video on how to care for skin while managing incontinence.

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