This year’s “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer” compiled by the National Cancer Institute delivered both good news and bad. The good news is that the number of deaths caused by cancer is still going down. The bad news is that although prostate cancer deaths were once included in that decline, they’ve now leveled off. Additionally, more cases of advanced prostate cancer are being reported. The change coincides with recent advice from doctors for men at low-risk for prostate cancer to decline screening. Though the leveling off of death rates may not be caused by the change in screening advice, it may be a good reason for older adult men to have an important conversation about prostate cancer with their doctors.
Prostate Cancer Basics.
Prostate cancer occurs in the walnut-sized prostate gland that lies just below the bladder in men. It is among the most common kinds of cancer in men. In many cases, prostate cancer is slow growing and doesn’t spread outside the prostate gland. Sometimes it needs only minimal intervention from doctors, and sometimes none at all. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes prostate cancer grows quickly and spreads. When it is caught during its early stages and is still confined to the prostate gland, there is a greater chance of treatment being successful.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors.
Knowing your aging relative’s risk for developing prostate cancer can help them to make decisions about being screened. Some risk factors for prostate cancer are:
- Age: The older a man gets, the greater his chances of getting prostate cancer.
- Weight: Men who are obese and diagnosed with prostate cancer have advanced stages of the disease more often than do men of a healthy weight.
- Race: African American men have the gene for prostate cancer more often than men of other races. They are also diagnosed with aggressive or advanced prostate cancer more frequently.
- History: Having relatives with prostate cancer or a strong history of breast cancer in the family increases prostate cancer risk.
If your family member has one or more of these risk factors, it may be wise for them to talk to their doctor about screening. Should your loved one be diagnosed with prostate cancer, senior care can assist in making sure they receive the care they need. Senior care can remind the older adult about upcoming appointments and provide transportation. Senior care can also be an important part of an older adult’s cancer treatment team since they can cook nutritious meals, encourage physical activity, and offer medication reminders.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from senior care in Orinda, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.