The risk for developing lung cancer can increase with age, especially for seniors who have been exposed to known carcinogens throughout their lives. While you can’t turn back the hands of time, you can utilize these prevention strategies when providing senior home care Summit families trust to help your loved one reduce his or her lung cancer risk.
1. Avoid the Dangers of Smoking
Many seniors began their smoking habits before the connection to lung cancer was well known, yet many still face the addiction. If your loved one smokes, then encourage him or her to talk to a doctor about how to quit the habit. For nonsmokers, help your loved one avoid secondhand smoke by asking others to not smoke within his or her proximity.
2. Check the Home’s Radon Level
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas, which means most people are unaware their home contains high levels of this known carcinogen. Because radon levels can vary widely even in the same neighborhood, it is important to have testing done on your loved one’s residence.
3. Limit Unnecessary Chest X-Rays
A doctor may prescribe a chest x-ray to identify lung problems and other disorders, yet each x-ray means your loved one is exposed to radiation. Make sure any x-ray ordered is substantiated with a valid reason, and do not be afraid to ask your loved one’s physician about alternative testing.
4. Schedule a Screening for High-Risk Seniors
The only effective lung cancer screening requires exposing a person to low levels of radiation. For this reason, a yearly screening is only recommended for those with a high risk factor due to a history of smoking and advancing age. If your loved one currently smokes heavily or has quit in the past 15 years and is between the ages of 55 and 80, then he or she may be a candidate for early detection screenings.
5. Encourage a Healthy Diet
Lung cancer prevention should always include a focus on eating a healthy diet full of antioxidants and phytoestrogens. Fill your loved one’s plate with beans, berries, and whole grains, which can help provide the nutrients he or she needs to ward off free radicals that can lead to cancer.
It’s important to take preventive measures to help your loved one stave off lung cancer and other health complications. Help ease your concerns about your loved one’s health by hiring a professional caregiver who can provide transportation to medical appointments, prepare healthy meals, and assist with many other daily tasks. For live-in and part-time care Summit families trust, turn to Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers are trained in the holistic Balanced Care Method, which seeks to promote excellent physical health, mental awareness, and inner calm in seniors. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a free in-home consultation.