Basal cell carcinoma is a kind of skin cancer that affects over 4 million people in the United States each year. It is the most common kind of skin cancer, but is also quite treatable when it is caught in the early stages. Because of the frequency with which basal cell carcinoma occurs, knowing how to recognize it could help you to seek treatment for your elderly parent earlier and lead to a better outcome.
Causes and Risk Factors for Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma most often occurs on areas of the skin that receive frequent sun exposure, such as the face or neck. Basal cells are located in the topmost layer of skin and are responsible for producing new skin cells. When a person has basal cell carcinoma, the DNA of a basal cell is changed and makes the cell reproduce too quickly and keep doing so even after the time when it would normally die. The buildup of abnormal cells causes a tumor to form.
Experts believe that the chief cause of damage to the DNA of the basal cells is the result of being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays are given off by the sun and tanning beds. However, there may be other causes since skin cancer can occur on parts of the body that are not often exposed to UV rays.
Recognizing the Signs
Basal cell carcinoma shows up as a change on the surface of the skin. It can appear in any of the following forms:
- Open Sore: A sore that does not heal, or that heals briefly, but then begins to bleed again.
- Translucent Bump: The bump might be pearly white, pink, or skin-colored and is somewhat see through. You may be able to see small blood vessels. This kind of basal cell carcinoma. It may break open and scab over.
- Red Patch: A red patch of skin that is scaly and appears irritated. They have a raised edge and can get pretty big.
- Dark-Colored Lesion: A brown, blue, or black lesion with a border that is translucent and a bit raised. They may also be a lesion with dark spots in it.
- Scar Lesion: A lesion that looks like a scar and does not have a regular border. This is the least common form of basal cell carcinoma, but it can be the most disfiguring.
If your parent has been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, an elderly care provider can help by driving them to medical appointments and by assisting with follow-up care. An elderly care provider can also help your parent to prevent basal cell carcinoma by helping them to apply sunscreen and reminding them to stay out of the sun during peak hours. An elderly care provider can also help your parent to choose clothing that will protect their skin from the sun while also still being cool and comfortable.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING IN-HOME ELDERLY CARE IN CAVE CREEK, AZ, PLEASE CALL THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE SCOTTSDALE. WE ARE HERE TO HELP!