Lung cancer is the most common cancer in the world. In the U.S., following prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women, lung cancer is the most common, with nearly 225,000 new diagnoses and 160,000 deaths projected in 2016 year alone by the American Cancer Society. 1 out of 4 cancer deaths are from lung cancer (more than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined), making it the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women.
The American Cancer Society goes on to state that currently, men have a slightly higher occurrence than women – and while African-American men are 20% more likely to get lung cancer than Caucasian men, African-American women’s rates are actually 10% lower than those of Caucasian women.
Here’s what’s important to note on your elderly parent’s behalf:
Two out of three lung cancer diagnoses occur in people ages 65 and over. The average age of diagnosis is 70. Since about 14% of all new cancer diagnoses are of the lung, that means that nearly 10% of them are elderly patients.
Though many scientific strides have recently been made, seniors tend to have other conditions that could worsen symptoms, so their bodies, on average, have been less likely to respond positively to medical treatments than younger adults. This is why it is so crucial to know who is most at risk, and how to lower their chances if at all possible.
There are a number of risk factors for the disease, including some that cannot be changed, like family history; and some that are difficult to change, such as exposure to air pollution. However, preventative measures can play a great role in successfully avoiding other risk factors altogether – the most common of which include:
- Exposure to secondhand smoke;
- Exposure to radon and/or asbestos;
- Exposure to diesel exhaust;
- Intake of beta-carotene supplements (larger studies have shown links).
If your elderly parent is diagnosed with lung cancer, seek the advisement of medical professionals who will be able to inform you of their options and help you to blueprint an appropriate treatment plan that works for everyone.
There is so much to think about when entering the later stages of life. If you are considering elder care options, we at 805Aging can help. Our professional staff specializes in assisting you to choose the right kind of care for your loved one.
We conduct regular check-ins when you are unable to do so. 805Aging also provides oversight and detailed feedback to the family to keep your loved one safe and well-cared for day or night, weekday or weekend, holiday and every day.
We have the resources. We can hold your hand. We can guide you. Your peace of mind is our main goal, and is well assured. To find out more, call us at 805-750-4755 or visit our website and sign up for our monthly newsletter: www.805Aging.com.
There is no manual on how to take care of your parents as they age. They had a baby book when you were young. You have us. -Amy