According to Cancer Council Victoria, approximately 10 percent of cancer survivors in Australia will develop cancer again. However, making some key lifestyle changes can prevent a recurrence or new form of cancer. If your ageing loved one is a cancer survivor, North Coast, NSW, home care professionals have a few tips that can help him or her remain healthy.
1. Cut Out Alcohol and Tobacco Completely
Few substances put as big of a strain on our bodies as tobacco and alcohol. Even if these substances did not cause or exacerbate your loved one’s particular type of cancer, using them after going into remission can drastically increase the risk of developing cancer once again. Additionally, no family members or friends should smoke in or near your loved one’s home if he or she has survived cancer.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Gaining too much weight can have a major impact on your loved one’s overall health and the likelihood of cancer recurrence. Excess fatty tissue increases insulin and estrogen levels, which drive the development of certain forms of cancer. According to the National Heart Foundation of Australia, seniors should keep their BMI between 19 and 25 to lower their risk of cancer.
3. Avoid Processed Meats
Having processed meat as an occasional snack will generally not impact a person’s health, but eating these products daily can be quite dangerous. Not only are they packed with fats and preservatives, but they also contain sodium nitrite, a carcinogen that has been linked to a wide variety of cancers, including colon cancer and leukemia.
4. Test the Home for Radon
Contrary to what many people believe, radon is not a manmade substance. It is actually a natural radioactive gas that is completely colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Over the course of a few years, radon can collect in homes and substantially increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer. If your loved one has survived cancer, have his or her home tested for radon at least once every few years. Radon testing kits are small cans that can be left out for a week or two before being sent to a laboratory.
If your loved one needs a solid support system to stay healthy and prevent cancer recurrence, reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers are trained in the Balanced Care Method, an evidence-based program that encourages seniors to eat well, exercise often, and focus on other lifestyle factors that can help them live happier and healthier lives. We also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care North Coast seniors and their families can rely on. To learn more about our aged care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers today at 1300 LIVE-IN or (02) 6646 3527.