Four Things You Need to Know about Lung Cancer
Lung Cancer Awareness Month is a perfect time to double check what you know about lung cancer and to assess how your senior might be at risk herself.
Learning the Symptoms Is Important
Recognizing the symptoms of lung cancer is a vital part of early detection. Some of the symptoms may not seem related to breathing, so your senior may not connect them. Those are symptoms like losing weight without trying or experiencing a change in appetite. Or she might just feel less energetic and not really know why. Other symptoms are very obviously related to the lungs, like an increase in breathing issues. Your senior may also experience pain in her chest, either constantly or just when she’s breathing.
Earlier Detection Means Earlier Treatment
The big reason to learn as much as you can about lung cancer is that earlier detection means that your senior can get treatment earlier. And earlier treatment means that it’s entirely possible she’ll have a better outcome. Screening tests include X-rays and other types of scans, like a CT scan. If you’re noticing any symptoms or changes in your senior’s health or behaviors, mention that to her doctor, especially if she is at higher risk of lung cancer.
There Are Lots of Risk Factors
So, what does it mean if your senior is at higher risk for lung cancer? Usually it means that your elderly family member has one or more risk factors, like a family history of lung cancer or other lung ailments. She may also have been a smoker, either currently or in the past. If she spent a lot of time around smokers, even without smoking herself, that also increases her risk of developing lung cancer. Your senior’s doctor can help you to determine her personal risk factors.
Avoiding Lung Cancer May Be Possible
Even with high risk factors, your elderly family member might be able to avoid lung cancer. Quitting smoking is a huge step toward that goal, of course. But making other lifestyle changes that lead to better overall health can also make a difference in this one area. Eating healthy foods and getting plenty of sleep are high on the list. Limiting alcohol and following doctor’s orders about other health issues are also high on the list.
Your senior may be making a lot of changes and she may not be feeling fantastic while doing so. Having help from home care providers can make a world of difference for her. They can help with everything from meal preparation to driving her to doctor’s appointments, which is all going to take a load off your mind, too.