Talking to Your Senior About Breast Cancer
October 12, 2017
Each year more than 300,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer. More than 250,000 of these cases are invasive breast cancer. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women, accounting for 30 percent of all new cancer diagnoses, and with the exception of lung cancer, breast cancer causes more cancer-related deaths than any other cancer.
As a family caregiver, these statistics may be startling and upsetting, but they also illustrate how important it is for you to address this risk with your senior so you can deal with it together.
Talking to your elderly parent about breast cancer can be intimidating. You don’t want to bring up something that can be perceived as negative or even morbid, and you don’t want to upset your loved one. Being honest and open about it, however, is a vital step in understanding risk and ensuring that if this does become part of your parent’s life, both of you are ready to face it in the way that is right for them.
Keep these things in mind when planning to talk to your senior about breast cancer:
• Studies show that there is a genetic link to breast cancer. Talk to your parent about your family history so that you can better understand the risk of this disease.
• Talk to your parent’s doctor about their personal risk factors for the disease and if there is anything that you can do to reduce that risk.
• Find out the recommendations for breast cancer screenings and talk to your parent about scheduling such a screening.
• Be open and honest with your parent, and be willing to listen to them be open and honest with you, even if they say things that you do not want to hear or that you do not agree with.
• Be willing to talk about difficult issues, such as whether they want to be screened at all and if they would pursue treatment if they were diagnosed with breast cancer.
How can a caregiver help?
Home care can be a fantastic addition to your caregiver journey with your elderly parent. With an in-home senior care services provider, your aging parent will have access to the care, support, and assistance that they need, as well as the added benefit of additional companionship and social interaction.
The personalized services this care provider can give to your parent are tailored to your parent’s individual needs, challenges, and limitations, and designed to help your parent stay healthy, safe, and comfortable while also encouraging greater activity, engagement, fulfillment, and independence. As a family caregiver, this can give you a greater sense of confidence that both when you are able to be with your parent and when you are not, they are getting everything that they need to live their highest quality of life as they age in place.
If you are considering hiring home health care in Monroeville, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.
Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551