Skin Cancer Awareness

logo for Macmillan cancer support in green writing

We all know the risk associated with Skin Cancer but few of us have probably witnessed the devastating effects it can have. Apart from the fact that in some cases it ends with fatality, Skin Cancer can cause disfiguring damage.

One of my clients had a tiny hole on the top of one ear. This rapidly grew in size and depth despite treatment with a topical cream. One day I visited him and to my horror that a section of his ear had fallen away.

He was rapidly seen by dermatologists at our local hospital and surgery was performed to remove a sizeable portion of his ear.

I have subsequently learnt that another gentleman had lost his entire ear due to skin cancer.

If you care for someone elderly who has skin cancer please keep a close eye on any tumours or lesions as rapid treatment will save stress and pain.

The type of skin cancers I am writing about are Squamous cell cancers which are most often found in areas that have been damaged by exposure to the sun such as the face, neck, bald scalps, arms, backs of hands and lower legs.

This form of cancers may:
  • Be scaly
  • Be a hard horny lump
  • Be tender to touch
  • Be raised

If you notice anything unusual on an elderly persons skin that doesn’t dissappear within a month, please urge them to visit their doctor. Taking photographs of anything unusual  over the course of time is also helpful as you can monitor any changes over time.

It’s important to remember that there are many other conditions that may appear in the skin that are not cancer, especially in older people.

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Caron

Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

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