The U.S. Centers for Disease Control 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.
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 and caregivers in Scottsdale may help.
5. Having a Personal History with Breast Cancer
Seniors cannot change their genetic history, nor can they turn back time to erase a past 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 are unable to provide transportation, consider hiring a professional caregiver from a trusted Scottsdale, AZ, elder care agency.
To learn more about senior health and wellness, reach out to Scottsdale Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to provide transportation, assist with exercise, prepare healthy meals, and help with many important daily tasks. In addition to respite and live-in care, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and dementia care Scottsdale, AZ, families can count on. For more information and to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 480.448.6215 today.