Surviving cancer is an accomplishment any senior should be proud of. However, some cancers can still return even years after treatment, which makes it important to take steps to reduce the risk of recurrence. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of home care in Anchorage, suggests a few preventive measures seniors can take to remain healthy and stave off cancer recurrence.
1. Limit Red Meat Consumption
Red processed meats such as ham and sausage have always been tied to a higher risk of colon cancer, but recent studies show these foods might play a role in cancer recurrence as well. A series of studies published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology have found connections between red meat and cancer progression, lower survival rates, and higher recurrence rates. Prepackaged lunchmeat is another popular food product cancer survivors should avoid due to the carcinogens found in the meat.
2. Take Probiotic Supplements
Everyone’s digestive tract contains both healthy and unhealthy bacteria. When healthy cells become depleted, it becomes difficult for the body to fight off cancerous cells and foreign bacteria. Probiotic supplements can help reduce the risk of infection after surgery and increase the immune response.
3. Eat Bright Fruits and Veggies
Colorful produce gets its bright hues from compounds known as polyphenols. Three of the most common forms of polyphenols stimulate the production of genes that suppress additional tumor growth, and they also aid in the natural process of expelling damaged and dangerous cells.
4. Engage in Moderate Physical Activity
Cancer survivors should do everything in their power to strengthen and support their immune system to prevent recurrence. Regular exercise is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost the immune system because it flushes out unhealthy bacteria and increases the production of white blood cells. Moderate exercise also alleviates many of the side effects of cancer and cancer treatments, including fatigue, depression, diarrhea, and general discomfort.
5. Maintain a Healthy Weight
A long-term study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham revealed obesity and cancer recurrence are closely intertwined. Seniors who stay within a healthy BMI range have 30 percent lower recurrence rates and much higher survival rates if their cancer does come out of remission. This is just one more reason why cancer survivors should continue to focus on a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Many of the healthy lifestyle choices a senior makes to prevent cancer recurrence can also help reduce the risk of other serious conditions. If your elderly loved one needs help managing his or her health, turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our expertly trained caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise more often, and focus on other lifestyle changes that can help him or her remain healthy. For more information on the respite and 24-hour care Anchorage, AK, seniors count on, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (907) 770-0907 to request a free in-home consultation.