Cancer Prevention as a Senior: What to Know - Seniors Fighting Cancer


As a senior magazine, we encourage and promote awareness. It’s important news for seniors to know how they can be proactive when it comes to their health and risk of cancer. As age increases, so does the overall incidence rate of cancer increases according to the National Cancer Institute. Additionally, more than 1,000 for every 100,000 people that are 60 years of age and older may experience an incidence of cancer.

As a senior, you may be wondering what you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent cancer, there are certain steps you can take to lower your risk. If you want the best cancer-prevention tips for seniors, keep reading.

Try Out These Lifestyle Tips To Help Prevent Cancer

Quit Smoking

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and it also increases your risk for cancer. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health especially if you are a senior with any underlying conditions.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a balanced and healthy diet is important for cancer prevention. Make sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as lean protein and whole grains. This is important because scientists have estimated that when you eat a healthy diet, you reduce your risk by up to 70%. Eating healthier can also make recovery more possible.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese increases your risk for many types of cancer, so maintaining a healthy weight is important. You can keep fit by staying active and aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Try going on walks, water aerobics, or yoga. Physical activity is the perfect preventative.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Too much alcohol can increase your risk for cancer. Limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day. The thing is, the ethanol that’s in alcoholic drinks breaks down a known carcinogen called acetaldehyde. That compound is what stops our cells from repairing damage to it. This is what could cause cancer cells to grow.

Protect Yourself From the Sun

We can still have fun living in Florida, spending days on end at the beach, without putting ourselves at risk for cancer. Sun exposure is a leading cause of skin cancer, so as a senior living in Florida, be sure to protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen and clothing that covers your skin.

See Your Doctor Regularly

Seeing your doctor regularly is an important part of staying ahead of your health and preventing disease in general, including cancer. Seeing your physician for annual checkups and any other recommended screenings can allow you to catch things quickly and have your doctor develop early care and treatment plans.

Manage Stress Levels

Stress can have negative effects on your health, so it’s important to manage your stress levels. Not only does having control over stress help to prevent negative health effects in general, it can also decrease your risk of heart disease, depression, and high blood pressure. What’s interesting is that stress hormones in particular are capable of inhibiting a process known as Anoikis. This process kills cells that are diseased and also prevents any spreading.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for good health and yes indeed, adequate sleep can help to prevent damage to cells that could eventually lead to cancer. This is because melatonin could contain antioxidant properties that help to prevent damage to those cells. As the best rule of thumb, seniors should aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night.

Avoid Exposure to Harmful Chemicals

Some chemicals can increase your risk for cancer, so it’s best to avoid exposure to them as much as possible. The thing is, increased exposure to harmful chemicals means an increased risk of cancer. These chemicals could be anything from asbestos and vinyl chloride to nickel.

Support Cancer Research

One of the best ways to prevent cancer is to support cancer research. Research is key in finding new ways to prevent and treat cancer. More participation in research and screening studies, means more data to help cancer research overall.

The Importance Of Cancer Education and Awareness

As a senior, it’s important to be aware of the increased risk of cancer and what you can do to reduce your chances of developing different forms of it. Not only after a certain age should you get screenings, but you should also know how to self-screen for some forms, and different preventative measures to take.

As you go for physicals and wellness checks with your PCP, they can also recommend additional preventive and screening interventions. Even people within the age range of 85 and older, this group makes up for at least 8% of new cancer diagnoses; the importance only grows stronger to increase cancer awareness and education.

Additionally, seniors should always be observant. The types of cancer that you can sort of, self-monitor are:

  • Cervical
  • Breast

  • Colorectal

With colon cancers, many people can often mail a sample to their doctors, or use at-home screening options like a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) or even a cologuard detection. The thing is, with multiple healthcare innovations today, there are various ways to stay on top of your cancer screenings with your physician, and when you don’t have an appointment. Keep in mind that regular screenings are usually suggested by the age of 45 especially if you are at a greater risk for different cancers.

For example, women are encouraged to get a mammogram starting at age 45 until 54. Once you’re 55 it’s recommended to be screened every 2 years unless you want to continue with annual screening.

Stay On Top of Your Health

As a seniors magazine, promoting cancer awareness is always important. As a community of seniors living in Florida, we want to stress the importance of skin health when it comes to sun exposure. While various factors can contribute to cancer, there are some things we want to pay close attention to given where we are. By being proactive about your health and taking these simple steps, you can reduce your risk of cancer, live a healthier life, and experience new levels of energy, productivity, and comfort.