Should Your Senior Get Tested for Lung Cancer?
As a family caregiver, one of the most meaningful and effective things you can do for your aging parent is empowering them to take control over their own health, and take steps throughout their later years to protect their health, and stay stronger as they age.
An important part of this is preventative measures, such as screenings and tests. These procedures provide critical information to your aging parent and their medical team that gives more insight into their current health and potential future health and give them the opportunity to make the decisions that are right for them.
While it might seem obvious to you that getting regular screenings, or getting tested if your senior is showing symptoms of a disease, this may not be as obvious to your aging parent. Recognizing that this is a choice, and being respectful of the choices your parent makes, is essential to giving your parent the meaningful support and care they need as they age.
Screening and testing for lung cancer are not the same things. Screening is performed on those who do not have symptoms and do not have a personal history of the disease. This type of procedure is done to aid in early diagnosis of the disease, and is recommended by the CDC only for those who are between the ages of 55 and 80, have a history of heavy smoking, and have smoked within the last 15 years. Screening offers the best opportunity for early diagnosis and effective treatment among those that are at the highest risk. Getting this type of screening may be a regular part of your parent’s health care if they meet these criteria.
Testing is another situation. This is a procedure performed whether or not your parent has risk factors for the disease, but is showing symptoms. The test determines the presence of cancer, and its stage. Getting this test is not routine, and whether or not it is undertaken is a very personal choice your parent will need to make. While you may immediately think of getting tested and knowing about a disease as a good thing, your parent might not think that way. As symptoms of lung cancer often only show up when the disease is advanced, your senior may decide getting tested is simply not right for them.
Some of the reasons your parent might not want to get tested for lung cancer include:
- Advanced lung cancer is far more difficult to treat, and will have fewer options
- Treatment of lung cancer is very aggressive and may reduce your parent’s quality of life
- Survival rates for advanced cancer are not high, even with treatment
- Your parent may be struggling with other health issues that mean they do not have a long life expectancy as it is and do not want to pursue treatment
- Knowing may only cause stress, upset, and conflict among the family, which they want to avoid if they already know they will not seek treatment
Starting senior care for your aging parent can be a meaningful and influential way to empower your parent to take care of their health, make their own decisions regarding their care, and pursue the life they want as they age in place.
A senior home care services provider offers your elderly loved one a wide range of fully customized services designed specifically for their needs, as well as for them as an individual. Your senior will have the opportunity to stay as active, engaged, and independent as possible, and to take care of themselves and their health in the ways that are right for them.
By respecting their beliefs, opinions, and personality, the care provider ensures the care your parent receives is appropriate for your parent and is supportive of them as an individual. As their caregiver, this can give you peace of mind that your parent can enjoy the quality of life you want them to have while also staying healthy and safe.
If you or someone you know needs a Caregiver in Gulf Shores, AL, please contact the friendly caregivers at Hughes Home Care.
We provide quality and affordable care for your elderly loved ones in our community. Call Us Today 251-517-9901. Serving Mobile & Baldwin County.
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