The risk of developing cancer increases with age. While there is no way to completely prevent cancer from occurring, there are some things older adults can do to lower their risk. Whether they’re living in an assisted living facility or receiving elderly home care, El Cajon seniors can lower their cancer risk by taking the following steps.
1. Stop Smoking
Smoking can lead to multiple health issues, including various types of cancer. Even if your loved one has smoked for many years, giving up smoking can boost his or her health in as little as 24 hours. If your loved one is ready to stop, talk to his or her doctor about the various cessation programs available.
2. Lose Weight
Research suggests seniors who are overweight or obese are at a high risk for various types of cancer. To reduce their cancer risk, older adults should consider losing weight. Eating a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity are usually the first steps toward shedding excess weight. However, if your loved one has tried unsuccessfully in the past to lose weight, it may be time to talk to the doctor about alternatives such as a medical procedure or a special diet.
3. Get Active
Studies have shown that those who exercise on a regular basis are less likely to develop cancer. Encourage your loved one to start taking a daily walk, or help him or her find enjoyable activities like golf, tennis, dance classes, gardening, or swimming. Exercising can also help with weight loss.
4. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Seniors who consume alcohol are more likely to develop breast, throat, and liver cancer. If quitting alcohol is difficult, convince your loved one to cut back on the amount he or she consumes each day. As a general rule, women should have no more than one glass, while men can have two.
5. Avoid Environmental Risks
Exposure to certain environmental factors may also contribute to a senior’s risk for cancer. Some of the best ways to avoid exposure to environmental toxins include wearing sunscreen when going outside every day and avoiding secondhand smoke. Find out if there are any hazardous chemicals or materials like asbestos in your loved one’s home, and get rid of them if possible.
6. Eat More Cancer-Fighting Foods
A healthy diet can keep many diseases at bay, including cancer. Encourage your loved one to eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. Foods thought to specifically prevent cancer include salmon, broccoli, tomatoes, citrus fruit, strawberries, artichokes, garlic, blueberries, apples, and bean sprouts. Fill your loved one’s fridge and pantry with as many of these foods as possible.
7. Perform Regular Self-Checks
New or changing moles, a lump under the breast, and other symptoms should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Regular screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies should also be on your loved one’s agenda. If your loved one doesn’t like to go to the doctor, talk to him or her about the risks. The earlier cancer is discovered, the more likely it is to be treatable. Make sure your loved one has transportation to appointments, as well as emotional support.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to reduce your loved one’s risk of developing cancer. When it comes to high-quality senior care, El Cajon families trust Coast Care Partners. We are a leading caregiver agency with several years of experience in the senior home care industry. Our professionally trained caregivers can help your aging parent make healthy lifestyle choices that promote longevity and keep several medical conditions at bay. To create a customized in-home care plan for your elderly relative, give us a call at 619-354-2544 today.