Fifty percent of all cancer cases are in men and women over the age of 66. One out of four new cancer cases is in people between the ages of 65 and 74. Breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer are some of the more common types of cancer seen in senior citizens.
There’s no way to completely eliminate the chance of getting cancer, but there are lifestyle changes your parents can make that will reduce their risk.
Changing the Diet
Sugar, red meat, smoked or grilled meats, and alcohol all are believed to increase the risk of cancer. Red meat, such as beef, has been linked as being a factor in colorectal cancer. Alcoholic beverages are linked to many cancers, including liver, pancreatic, and stomach cancers. There is evidence that sugar may help feed the growth of cancerous cells. Smoke created during the process of grilling foods can also increase carcinogens found on foods that may raise the cancer risk.
Changing the diet to limit consumption of these foods is important. In addition to potentially lowering the cancer risk, these dietary changes can also help your parent lose weight. That can help maintain a healthy blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.
Reducing Exposure to Environmental Carcinogens
Several items found naturally in the environment are linked to cancer. If your home has a basement, high radon levels can raise the risk of lung cancer. A radon test is suggested. If it’s positive, a ventilation system can draw radon from the home and reduce the risk.
Older homes and buildings may have asbestos in them. Asbestos was used in insulation and other fireproof materials like wallboard, floors, and ceiling tiles. They become dangerous when the fibers break down and get into the air you breathe. It can raise the risk of developing lung cancer.
The use of tobacco is linked to bladder, kidney, lung, pancreatic, stomach, and throat cancer. Even if you don’t smoke and use chewing tobacco, there’s a risk of developing esophageal, mouth, and pancreatic cancer. People who do not smoke but are around a smoker also have an increased risk of developing lung cancer. The best way to reduce the risk is to stop smoking immediately.
If your parent needs help making lifestyle changes, an elder care companion is worth your consideration. With a companion there for support, it can be easier to quit bad habits. Plus, a caregiver can help with activities that keep the mind off cravings. Caregivers can also get your parents to go for daily walks, which can help with overall health. Call an elder care agency to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Cranford, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.