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Skin Cancer and the Elderly Essay

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I was born and raised in Palm Beach County of south Florida. The ocean, beach, and sun are just another everyday routine in the lives of a south Floridian. Sun bathing is a hobby that I never realized was such a big deal until moving to Orlando; when going to the beach and tanning is a privilege only shared on occasion. In Palm Beach County, it is hard to find someone that isn’t ten shades darker then they are naturally otherwise. When reports about the negative effects of UV light came about, I constantly heard “Oh, it won’t happen to me, I will deal with that when I’m older, but for now I’m going to continue tanning.” Today, skin cancer “is the most common type of cancer in the U.S.” (Ferrini, 2008). It is also the most dangerous for elders merely because of that mindset, “Oh, I’ll worry about it later;” that is exactly what happens for those who develop skin cancer. I have seen a minimal decrease in the tanning trend back home, simply because people are more aware of skin cancer; but they still continue with the risks of not protecting themselves from the sun.
The three main types of skin cancer include: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. Skin cancer is usually diagnosed in older adults because skin cancer takes many years to develop after a significant amount of exposure; this takes prevalence due to the fact that the baby boomer generation turned 65 last year. “Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States, blamed on the increased sun exposure through tanning…” (Ferrini, 2008). I believe that right now would be the best time for a dermatologist to begin practice in an area such as Palm Beach County because it is a popular retirement destination where ignorance runs rampant about UV protection.
Another reason I beli...


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...h County and across the coasts and move inward throughout the country. Skin cancer will only get worse while the ozone layer depletes therefore it is crucial for the younger generations to learn now.



Works Cited

Ferrini, A. F., & Ferrini, R. L. (2008). Other Chronic Diseases and Conditions. Health in the later years (4th ed., p. 149). Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown.
Health effects of overexposure to the sun. (n.d.). US Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvandhealth.html
Skin Cancer Facts. (n.d.). The Skin Cancer Foundation. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://www.skincancer.org/Skin-Cancer-Facts/#aging
Smith, R. (2010, November 30). Elderly 'ignoring' skin cancer signs. The Telegraph. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8167776/Elderly-ignoring-skin-cancer-signs.html


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