Lung cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide when not considering skin cancer. More than 230,000 people throughout the United States are diagnosed with this disease each year, and at any given time there are more than 540,000 people living who have at some point in their life received a diagnosis of lung cancer.
Unfortunately, the five-year survival rates for lung cancer are lower than other forms of cancer. Early diagnosis, particularly when the disease is still localized, greatly increases survival potential. This means it is extremely important for you to encourage your parent to stay proactive about their health and attack it when they experience the early stages of lung cancer. This allows them to make decisions about their health and management that are right for them.
Some of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Note a persistent cough that is not related to other illnesses such as cold or flu, and does not go away over time or with normal interventions. It is important to note that this persistent cough can be dry or produce mucus.
- Watch for a change in the way your aging parent coughs. Many elderly adults struggle with chronic cough due to health issues, including potentially mild issues. It is important to pay close attention to the way this cough sounds and when and how your parent develops it. If the way the cough sounds, the intensity of the cough, or the triggers that cause the cough changes, it could be an indication of something serious such as lung cancer.
- It is not uncommon for older adults to experience shortness of breath or become short of breath more easily. If your senior is suddenly experiencing changes in their breathing, or are short of breath without cause, it could be a sign of developing lung cancer.
- Be aware of a pain in the chest. Though most people automatically think of heart attack when it comes to chest pains, if an ache, tenderness, or other pain occurs frequently, or is persistent, it could be an indication of lung cancer.
- Note unintentional weight loss. If your senor loses 10 pounds or more without intentionally trying to lose weight, it could be an indication of a serious health issue, such as cancer.
If you are concerned about your senior’s health, particularly if they are living with risk factors for certain health issues, home care can go a long way in easing your mind. A home care services provider can closely monitor your aging parent to detect when their challenges, symptoms, and issues have increased. Simply being able to tell if your parent seems more tired recently, is not eating well, or is having other problems can give you valuable insight into their health and allow you to make important decisions about how to get them the care they need. As a family caregiver, this can give you tremendous peace of mind, and help you to know your parent is in the best hands both when you are with them and when you are not.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Medfield MA, or anywhere in Eastern Massachusetts, please call the caring staff at CARE Resolutions – (508) 906-5572.
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