Skin Cancer Awareness Month: May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the US, with over 5 million cases annually. However, the good news is that skin cancer is also the most preventable form of cancer. Because skin cancer is visible, it can be detected early, making it easier to treat. This emphasizes the importance of early detection, empowering you to take proactive steps in safeguarding your skin health. However, if early detection can significantly affect its treatment, where does that leave older adults who grew up without sunscreen? 

According to, one out of every five Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they reach the age of 70. Therefore, it is crucial for seniors to regularly examine their skin to detect any new or unusual spots on their bodies. In addition, it is recommended that they receive periodic screenings from a healthcare professional. The frequency of screenings may depend on other factors, such as family or personal history, fair skin, numerous moles, and exposure to environmental conditions. Frequent screenings are essential for seniors who have lived in sunny climates or spent a lot of time outdoors. If any of these factors apply to you, it is highly recommended that you start looking for any new or unusual spots on your body. Unusual spots can include a sore that does not heal, a sore that appears see-through, shiny, pink or pearly white, or a lump or red patch.

Here are some tips to safeguard your skin:

  1. Limit sun exposure, especially between 10 am and 4 pm
  2. Conduct regular skin checks
  3. Keep skin covered with protective clothing while outdoors
  4. Wear sunglasses
  5. Use sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher and reapply as needed

Skin cancer can be cured if it is detected early, and the chances of recovery are even higher. It is essential to discuss any unusual spots with your aging loved ones or clients and assist them in checking areas that may be difficult for them to see. By being informed and taking preventive measures, we can protect our skin from cancer and reduce the risk of developing it. So, let’s stay vigilant and educate ourselves to safeguard our skin. Remember, these measures are effective and can give you the confidence and security in your efforts to protect your skin.

Skin Cancer Image Gallery from the Skin Cancer Foundation

If you are looking for more information, please visit the Skin Cancer Foundation