The third most common type of cancer for both men and women throughout the United States and the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths, colorectal cancer has more than 134,400 new cases each year. As a family caregiver, it is important that you understand this disease so that you can help your parent to recognize their risks and make the changes that might help them to reduce these risks as they age.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Take this opportunity with your parent to review their risks and encourage them to adopt new lifestyle choices that may reduce their risk, or prepare both of you for the potential that they will experience this disease during their later years.

Some of the risk factors for colorectal cancer that you CAN change include:

• Being overweight or obese. This factor also increases the risk of dying from the disease if your parent does develop it
• Living a largely sedentary or inactive lifestyle
• Eating a diet that is high in red meats or highly processed meats such as hot dogs
• Preparing meats at very high temperatures such as grilling or frying
• Smoking
• Excess use of alcohol, defined as more than 2 drinks per day for men or more than 1 drink per day for women

Some of the risk factors for colorectal cancer that you CANNOT control, include:

• Being over the age of 50
• Personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps
• Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
• Having diabetes
• Your racial or ethnic background
• Inheriting certain genetic syndromes or markers
• Having previously undergone treatment for another type of cancer

If your aging parent has recently been diagnosed with cancer or they are at increased risk of cancer, getting started on elder care for them can be one of the best decisions that you can make. A journey with cancer is challenging, both emotionally and physically, and both of you will need all of the support, assistance, and encouragement that you can get. An elderly home care services provider can be there with your senior loved one on a customized schedule that is right for them. This means that they can get the care that they need while also ensuring that you are at the forefront of their care routine, getting them what they need, when they need it throughout this experience. A care provider can also be a valuable tool for helping your parent pursue their care and treatment goals in the way that is right for them. By understanding the instructions, recommendations, and prescriptions set forth by their doctor, this care provider can encourage your parent to remain compliant with them, as well as integrate these recommendations into their daily routine. This helps to ensure that your parent takes their medications or fulfills their treatments when and how they are supposed to, and that they make the lifestyle choices that they should to help keep their body as healthy as possible.


When you know your aging loved-one needs help with cancer care, consider in-home elder care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.