Cancer Prevention Month falls every February, and this is a great time to talk about your dad’s health. What do you know about the most common cancers in older men? Take time this month to learn more about the most common cancers and what steps you can take to lower your dad’s risk.
Colorectal cancer is one of the three most common cancers in men. It’s a treatable cancer if caught early. A high-fiber diet that avoids red meat can help lower his risk.
Your dad needs to go for a colonoscopy to look for polyps and cancerous growths. A colonoscopy causes a lot of fear, which keeps some from scheduling it. The worst part is drinking the solution that clears all material from the colon and intestines. This salt-water solution can be challenging to drink and keep down. But, it’s necessary.
The scan itself is easy, and your dad might sleep through it. He’ll be given a sedative and asked to lay on his side. The gastroenterologist will run a small scope through his colon to examine the lining. After a clean scan, he won’t have to go for another ten years.
Lung cancer is another cancer found in older men. If your dad smokes, works in manufacturing, or has radon in his home, his risk increases.
He should talk to his doctor about a lung x-ray to look for signs of cancer. The earlier it’s caught, the better the chances of treating it. If he still smokes, he needs to talk to his doctor about cessation products.
Prostate cancer is the final of the three common cancers in men. Together, these three cancers account for 43% of cancer cases. Prostate cancer screening is easily managed with a blood test.
The blood test screening should be discussed with his doctor. By the age of 70, he may not need to go for screening anymore due to the slow progression of this cancer. If your dad is in a high-risk group, he may be advised to keep going for screenings.
What if he has cancer? When your dad has cancer, a strong support team is vital. It would help if you had breaks from his daily care requirements, and he needs others to help him with everything from meals to light housekeeping.
His recovery depends on having the love and support from his friends and family, which means you need to take care of yourself. Talk to an elder care specialist about home care services. Instead of trying to fit in everything your dad needs, delegate some of his care needs to an elder care aide.
You can focus on his appointments while a caregiver keeps up with housekeeping, laundry, and personal care. Call an elder care agency to get started.