According to the Canadian Cancer Society, almost 90% of Canadians who develop cancer are over the age of 50. More specifically, the average age upon receiving a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is 71. Pancreatic cancer is the 12th most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada, but it is the fourth leading cause of cancer related death.
November marks World Pancreatic Cancer month. And although some of the statistics may be unsettling to hear, there are many things that can be done to reduce the risk of seniors developing pancreatic cancer. By working together with those providing elderly care and home health care, we can support senior loved ones as they aim to lead a long and healthy life.
4 Tips To Promote Pancreatic Health
1. Stop Smoking Or Using Tobacco Products Of Any Kind
About 20%–30% of pancreatic cancers are related to smoking tobacco. The risk increases with the number of cigarettes and the number of years you smoke. Seniors who have been smoking for many years should know it is not too late to quit. Once you quit, you will gradually experience a decrease in pancreatic cancer risk over the next several years.
2. Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Seniors who are overweight or obese have a higher likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer. Make smart food choices by choosing poultry and fish over red meat, limit your daily meat intake and incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into your diet. It is also important for seniors to stay physically active. One of the ways that iCare Home Health elderly care professionals are able to support the health and well-being of aging adults, is by ensuring they get regular exercise.
3. Check Your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D has protective qualities against developing pancreatic cancer. It is an antioxidant that can destroy cancerous cells. Seniors should get outside for at least 15 minutes a day and eat a diet rich in vitamin D such as egg yolks and fish. If necessary, consider a supplement to ensure high levels of this critical nutrient.
4. Keep Regular Medical Appointments
It is important for seniors to visit the doctor regularly to be proactive and to report any symptoms or concerns as they appear. The symptoms of pancreatic cancer can appear slowly. Some of the more common symptoms to watch for include yellowing of the eyes and skin, discoloured urine and itchy skin.
Accessing Elderly Care To Support Health And Wellness
If you or your senior loved one needs help managing their health to reduce the risk of cancer or other serious conditions, contact iCare Home Health. Our professional home care providers support seniors living in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Mississauga and have experience helping aging adults make healthier decisions that increase the longevity and quality of life. Call us to learn more – (905) 491-6941.