Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases in the world. It is among the leading causes of death every year. According to several surveys and reports, people above the age of 40-50 years are more likely to develop cancer. Apart from the elderly, those who smoke, and drink alcohol are also at greater risk of developing cancer.
How best to care for one’s ageing parents is a concern many people have. And safeguarding one’s parents from cancer is a significant part of that.
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No one wants their parents to suffer from cancer. And barring a genetic predisposition to cancer, taking a few precautions to provide a healthy and a cancer-free lifestyle to your parents is not difficult.
Read on for six steps you can take to keep your parent’s cancer-free.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining weight is the first step to becoming healthy. If your parents are overweight, then help them maintain that weight initially instead of piling on more. Once they are ready to lose the extra kilos, encourage them to switch to a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts etc.
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Exercise plays a vital role in maintaining your parents’ health and preventing certain diseases. You can encourage your parents to exercise daily by:
- Educate them about cancer and the ways to avoid it. Make sure they know that exercising will keep them fit and healthy and reduce the risk of several types of cancers including breast, prostate, and lung cancer.
- Help to make walking an hour a part of their daily routine
- Encourage them to take up activities they like whether it is swimming, playing golf, and bicycling etc.
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It is essential to provide healthy and nutritious food to your parents. Surveys have shown that nearly 75 percent of people aged 55 years and above are at greater risk of cancer if they don’t get proper nutrition. Here are some ways to ensure that your parents follow a diet that keeps them safe from cancer.
- Set up a diet plan for your parents and make sure you include all the essential nutrients and vitamins they need.
- If your parents are not able to cook their meals, then contact the “Meals on Wheels” program to get healthy food for them at reasonable rates.
- Women 50 years or above are prone to breast cancer. Certain foods prevent breast cancer like green leafy vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, citrus fruits, carrots, broccoli, etc. So make sure your mom has plenty of these.
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Discourage smoking and drinking
Smoking is bad for health and is a significant cause of lung cancer. It damages your lungs and liver, and causes other health problems. Make sure your parents aren’t consuming alcohol or smoking in excess. Stopping lifelong habits is difficult, so help them wean themselves off alcohol and tobacco gradually.
5. Protect them from the sun: Too much exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer, especially critical melanoma. Buy tinted sunscreen, and make sure your parents wear it before they venture into the sun. Ask them to wear hats, long-sleeve shirts or tops and avoid exposure to sunlamps or tanning booths.
Get screening tests
There are several screening tests that can help you protect your parents from cancer. A few tests help with early detection of the disease so that it can be treated in time. Other tests will give you information that will help you prevent your parents from developing cancer. The cancers that should be tested for regularly are cervical, colorectal, breast, and lung.
Follow the aforementioned pointers meticulously to keep your parents safe from cancer.
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