Concerning the case study, Ms. Morton, a 35-year-old female, has a flat lesion, scaly, and crusty surface on the shoulder that has been confirmed to be a squamous cell skin cancer. To discuss the risk factors for developing skin cancer with her, as a nurse practitioner, I will begin with an introduction to what am doing as well as the goals of this discussion. The introduction session will be used to build a nurse-patient relationship as well as establishing an informed consent regarding the aim and objective of the interaction. After the introduction session, the next thing is to enlighten the patient on the risk factors for developing skin cancer.
The primary risk factor for skin cancer is the exposure to ultraviolet UV light such as sunlight and the risk increase with the amount of exposure (CancerCenter.com, 2018). The statement above will open the door to know her lifestyle and any instance of exposure such frequent sunburns and amount of time outdoors without protective measures such as sunscreens. Other general risk factors include age where it increases as someone ages that are facilitated by prolonged exposure to UV radiation. Immune suppression is another factor that results from the weakened system due to agents such as viruses or immune suppression following organ transplant. The risk is also genetic as inherited conditions, for instance, xeroderma pigmentosum increase the chances of developing skin cancer after the accumulation of unrepaired UV damage. Other factors include prolonged UV exposure, chemical exposure, and basal cell nevus syndrome (CancerCenter.com, 2018).
To prevent additional skin cancer, Ms. Morton will require using sunscreens when exposed to intense sunlight. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunscreen alone is not enough, and other measures are essential such as seeking shade and covering up with clothing. Regarding the sunscreen strategy, she will require using broad spectrum (UVA/UVB), water resistant, and with an SPF of fifteen to thirty or higher. Additionally, Ms. Morton will be required to have regular visits with her physician for a skin examination. The strategy above will ensure early detection of any signs of skin cancer. Again, she is recommended to have regular self-examination of her skin from head to toe (Skincancer.org, 2018).
Regarding early detection of skin cancer, the Cancer Council of Australia has provided a simplified procedure to check for signs of skin cancer (Cancer.org.au, 2018). The online page has highlights on how to check your skin and what to look for. Regarding the Readability Consensus of the Cancer Council of Australia, the material is of a standard reading level for the ninth and tenth graders. The material is suitable for use by the patient because of its simplicity and procedural organization. From the resource, colored pictures are illustrating what one should look for when checking for early signs of skin cancer. Most of the people dont know exactly what to look for during self-examination which is a challenge concerning early diagnosis. Additionally, the material has also differentiated the types of skin cancers that will help the patient to locate all possible signs without difficulties.
In conclusion, skin cancer can be identified and easily treated if detected early enough and therefore it is a self-responsibility to check for early signs. It is also important to know ones skin concerning what is normal so that one can notice any changes. Additionally, one should develop a regular habit of checking changes such as existing freckles and talking to the doctor about levels of risk and early detection.
CancerCenter.com. (2018). Skin Cancer Risk Factors: Fair Skin, Gender, others | CTCA. Retrieved from https://www.cancercenter.com/skin-cancer/risk-factors/
Cancer.org.au. (2018). How to check for signs of skin cancer. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/check-for-signs-of-skin-cancer.html
Skincancer.org. (2018). Prevention Guidelines - SkinCancer.org. Retrieved from https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/prevention-guidelines
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