It is important for everyone to stay as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, many elderly adults will get some form of cancer. If you are caring for an elderly loved one, it is beneficial to have them get cancer screenings. There are guidelines for these screenings that your elderly loved one should follow. In addition, it is important for you, as a caregiver, to learn more about these screenings, so you know which ones your loved one should be getting.
Testing for Lung Cancer
One of the cancer screenings that your elderly loved one might need to get is for lung cancer. If your elderly loved one is smoking now or in the past 15 years, you should have their doctor check to see if they have lung cancer. With this screening, your elderly loved one will get a CT scan that checks for the signs of this type of cancer. It is important to talk to your elderly loved one’s doctor about the limitations, risks, and benefits of this screening.
Testing for Colon Cancer
Anyone who is 50 years of age or older should be tested for colon cancer. If your elderly loved one has Medicare, you probably won’t need to worry about the cost of this test, as it will likely be covered. During this test, the doctor will look for any polyps that are pre-cancerous. If they do find some, the hope is that they will be able to remove them before they turn cancerous. There are different types of screenings for this type of cancer. You should talk to your loved one’s doctor to see which screening will be used.
Testing for Prostate Cancer in Men
If your elderly loved one is a male, they should have their prostate checked for cancer. However, there are some risks associated with this screening, so you should discuss this with your loved one’s doctor before having the screening done. There isn’t an exact age for this screening, as overall health is considered, too, not only the age.
Testing for Breast Cancer in Women
Women need to have mammograms done to check for breast cancer. It is recommended that women get these done once every other year. If someone has a higher risk of getting breast cancer, it is recommended they get this test done annually. There are various things that put someone it the high-risk category. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about whether they are high-risk.
Testing for Cervical Cancer in Women
It is also recommended that elderly women get tested for cervical cancer. However, this is only if they haven’t already been screened regularly in the previous 10 years. There are different timeline recommendations for this screening. You should speak directly to your elderly loved one’s doctor about when they should be screened.
These are some of the cancer screenings that senior citizens should have. If you aren’t able to take your loved one to a screening, have an elderly care provider take them. Your loved one’s health is important and screening could help to save their life.