Early detection is essential for the long-term treatment of melanoma. Lesions, or abnormal changes in the color or texture of skin, are one of the most common warning signs of melanoma. The disease can affect a senior’s overall quality of life.
Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Toronto, ON, elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Here are a few warning signs your aging loved one may have melanoma.
1. Changes in Skin Color
Spots can appear anywhere on the body and range from bluish-black to red in color. Precancerous lesions often have an irregular or asymmetrical border and become larger over time. Both precancerous and cancerous lesions look different than the freckles and moles on the rest of the body.
The initial size of the lesion can be less than a centimeter, but the spots typically grow larger over time. To spot changes in skin color, examine your loved one’s entire body at least once a month. Note any recently developed spots, moles, or freckles, and discuss these skin changes with your loved one’s doctor.
2. Failure to Heal
Many seniors are diagnosed in the later stages of melanoma, after the lesions have grown in size. The lesion may look like a sore, but instead of healing it keeps reforming again and again. Wart-like growths that bleed easily and raised sores with depressions in the center may indicate melanoma. If your loved one has a sore that persists, seek professional medical advice.
3. Development of Nodules or Horns
A nodule, or a small, smooth bump, is a sign of melanoma. Nodules vary in color, but they are sometimes surrounded by a patch of red, scaly skin. This skin can appear shiny, or the nodule may look like an open sore. In extremely rare cases, cutaneous horns develop at the site of cancerous lesions. Cutaneous horns are dense pieces of keratin that project out of the skin, and they resemble animal horns.
4. Changes in Moles
Moles can become cancerous at any stage of life. Examine moles for changes in size, shape, and color during your loved one’s monthly skin exam, and talk to the doctor if any of your loved one’s moles have become itchy or painful. If a mole becomes cancerous, the skin surrounding it can also change in texture. Have the mole professionally evaluated if the skin around it becomes discolored, scaly, or thicker than the surrounding skin.
Get in touch with Home Care Assistance to find out how a Toronto, ON, home caregiver can help your aging loved one live a longer, healthier, and happier life. Our caregivers are available 24/7, all of our senior care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
5. Multicolored Lesions
One of the most common signs of melanoma is a multicolored mole or lesion. The lesion or mole may be brown, black, red, blue, or white in color. Some lesions are the same color as the surrounding skin, in which case you’ll have to look for bumps or sores that develop and persist for longer than a few weeks. Have the lesion and surrounding skin examined by a skin specialist to rule out melanoma.
Aging adults are at risk of a variety of physical conditions like melanoma, as well as cognitive health challenges such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. However, they can benefit from hiring professional caregivers. Toronto, ON, dementia care professionals can help your loved one manage the symptoms of dementia. Though mental stimulation is a key component of dementia care, it’s also important to encourage seniors to socialize regularly, eat nutritious foods, exercise, and focus on other healthy lifestyle factors. If you’re in need of a customized, holistic care plan for your aging loved one, get in touch with Home Care Assistance at (416) 488-8777 today.