The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. If you have a senior loved one who is over 65, it’s important to be aware of the common risk factors for breast cancer and know how to help her take the appropriate preventative measures.
1. Being Overweight After Menopause
After menopause, a woman’s ovaries stop making estrogen. The majority of this hormone then comes from the fat stored in her body. Because having high levels of estrogen is associated with a greater risk of developing breast cancer, losing weight can decrease a woman’s risk. Sticking to a healthy diet and exercise program designed for weight loss can help your loved one keep her estrogen levels low.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
2. Skipping Self-Exams
Many instances of breast cancer are self-reported, which means monthly exams are just as important for seniors as they are for younger adults. Your loved one should ask the doctor to show her how to perform these exams correctly, and family caregivers should also be alert for visible signs of breast cancer when assisting with bathing and personal hygiene routines. Because men can also get breast cancer, they should be performing monthly self-exams as well.
3. Drinking Excessive Amounts of Alcohol
According to the American Cancer Society, drinking 2 to 5 alcoholic beverages per day increases a woman’s breast cancer risk by 1.5 percent. Your loved one should stick to one drink a day at the most and quit drinking completely if the alcohol interferes with any medications she takes.
4. Using Tobacco Products
Seniors who smoke are at greater risk for many kinds of cancer, and smoking directly affects the breasts because nicotine enters the milk ducts. If your loved one is having difficulty quitting, trying a tobacco cessation program and receiving social support from her family may help.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Clearwater, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
5. Having a Personal History with Breast Cancer
Seniors cannot change their genetic history, nor can they turn back time to erase a previous cancer diagnosis. However, they can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence by sticking to their well-woman exam and screening schedules. Because early detection can make a dramatic difference in the battle against breast cancer, make sure your loved one has transportation to her regular medical checkups. If you’re unable to provide transportation, consider hiring a professional caregiver from a trusted home care agency.
Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Clearwater, FL, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. To talk to one of our friendly Care Managers and create a customized senior care plan, call us at (727) 330-7862.