Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content

More results...

3 Common Types of Skin Cancer and How to Detect It This Summer

Jun 09, 2021|Health & Wellness

Common types of skin cancer

Summer is a great time to take more walks, garden and enjoy a dip in the pool but it’s also a time when seniors need to stay mindful of their sun exposure. Older adults might already make sunblock, hats and long sleeves a priority because they know skin becomes more vulnerable as they age but they also need to be on the watch for signs of skin cancer. It’s actually the most common type of cancer in both the United States and Canada. 

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, people who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24% less skin aging than those who don’t. Not only does sunblock help protect the skin from UV rays, it can also help prevent the development of skin cancer. It’s just as important to use sun protection as it is to recognize a skin abnormality, whether it’s malignant or benign. Here are the three (3) most common types of skin cancer and what to look for:

  1. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

This is the most common type of skin cancer. Typically shows up in the neck or face and in both fair and darker skin tones. Signs to look for:

  • Pearly or waxy bump
  • Flat, flesh-toned or brown scar-like lesion
  • Bleeding or scabbing sore that heals, then returns 
  1. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

This is the second most common type of skin cancer. Occurs on face, ears and hands. Can grow deep, causing damage or disfigurement. Also can develop from precancerous growths. Signs to look for:

  • Firm, red nodule
  • Flat lesion with a scaly, crusty surface
  1. Melanoma

Considered the most serious type because it spreads. Can develop anywhere, even on an existing mole. Appears on the face, trunk on men and lower legs on women. Signs to look for:

  • Large, brownish spot with dark speckles
  • Mole that changes in color, size, feel or bleeds
  • Small lesion with irregular borders and sections that are red, pink, white, blue or black
  • Painful lesion that itches or burns

There are other less-common types of skin cancer such as Kaposi Sarcoma, Merkel Cell Carcinoma and Sebaceous Gland Carcinoma. 

For melanoma specifically, know your ABCs for early detection.

Because older adults can’t always do a thorough check of their bodies, it’s best to have your doctor regularly look for signs of skin cancer. If you see something that looks like a new growth, a sore that won’t heal or a change in an existing mole, make an appointment right away. 

In the meantime, you can still enjoy all that summer has to offer with plenty of sunblock, hats, seeking shade and wearing long sleeves. 

Found this useful? Share with

More Related Articles Picked For You…

Read This Post

Aug 25|Health & Wellness

4 Health Benefits of Friendships for Seniors

Creating, nurturing, and maintaining friendships is hard in adulthood but the health benefits outweigh the potential stress that comes with fostering new relationships.

Read This Post

Jul 28|Health & Wellness

4 Low Glycemic Sweeteners and How to Use Them

We could write an ode to sugar and all the delicious desserts, candies, and yummy drinks but it's safe to say we should all be cutting back on our sugar consumption.

Read This Post

Jun 25|Health & Wellness

Prepping for the Heat: Information, Water and Air! Oh My.

Knowing how to watch for heat stroke, following the weather reports and making sure you have the tools to keep cool like water and airflow are the best ways to prepare for the heat this summer.

Find Your Community


Enjoying Life, Enriching Lives, Living Well.

9310 NE Vancouver Mall Drive, Suite 200
Vancouver, WA 98662

Copyright © 2021 Hawthorn Senior Living