While there is no way to prevent cancer, early detection and treatment for many types of cancer can help improve seniors’ chances for recovery. If you’re a caregiver for an elderly loved one, being familiar with some of the basic symptoms of cancer is one way to help ensure early detection of this type of disease. Presented by Home Care Assistance Grand Rapids, here are four of the early signs of cancer.
1. Weight and Appetite Loss
Weight loss and appetite loss are two of the most common symptoms of cancer that are relatively easy to detect. Sudden and rapid weight loss is very typical in seniors with cancer and is often one of the first signs of the condition. Especially if both weight and appetite loss are happening at the same time, these changes in an elderly loved one are a cause for concern.
Another very common early symptom of cancer is persistent fatigue. Seniors who are diagnosed with cancer will frequently report having experienced consistent feelings of extreme tiredness, despite the fact that they were getting enough sleep. If your elderly loved one seems tired on a regular basis, but seems to be sleeping throughout the night, you should consult his or her physician.
While this symptom typically occurs when cancer has begun to spread, feeling feverish can happen in the early stages as well. As many illnesses can cause body temperatures to spike, only having a fever is not typically an indicator of cancer, unless paired with other symptoms.
Cancer causes tumors to develop in the body, so if you or your loved one detects a lump, particularly one that is hard, irregularly shaped, and firmly fixed under the skin or deep in tissue, it’s important to have the area checked. While cancerous lumps are most likely to develop on the breasts or testicles, lumps located elsewhere on the body should also be checked.
5. Skin Changes
It’s important to take note of any significant skin changes, especially if your elderly loved one’s skin shows signs of yellowing, darkening, redness, or sores that won’t heal. Although not all skin changes are caused by cancer, keeping a close eye on moles on the skin can help ensure pre-cancerous and cancerous spots are caught early.
Becoming familiar with the signs and symptoms of age-related conditions is a good step toward helping ensure your elderly loved one stays healthy. For other ways to promote your elderly loved one’s health, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our hourly, live-in, and stroke caregivers in Grand Rapids are expertly trained to help seniors with a variety of physical and cognitive needs adopt healthy habits, like safely following a doctor-recommended diet and exercise routine. To learn more about our home care services, give a Care Manager a call at 616-243-0835 and schedule a free in-home consultation.