October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when it seems that the whole
country goes pink. In fact, if you are a football fan even your TVs on
Sundays are splashed in pink! Because the issue gets such wide coverage
during this month, it’s an excellent time to brush up on the latest
research, walk or donate in support of a breast cancer nonprofit, and
renew your personal commitment to prevention.
One thing that you
don’t hear much about is the additional risk that many caregivers face
of developing breast and other kinds of cancer. Because caregivers tend
to prioritize the health of others over their own, they may be more
susceptible to the risk factors of cancer such as skipping regular
health screenings, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and, of
Even if these issues do not apply, according to
the American Psychological Association’s 2011 Stress in America report,
stress and health concerns are especially critical among adults age 50
and older who serve as caregivers for a sick family member—more than
half admitted to feeling overwhelmed. While the National Cancer Institute says
that the evidence is weak that stress can actually cause cancer, it
does acknowledge that it can decrease of the quality of life for those
being treated for cancer and may even result in a poorer clinical
This October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, consider
making a pledge to try to prevent illness in your own life, so that you
are better able to care for your loved ones. This includes:
• Making appointments for and attending regular health screenings, including mammograms if you are over 40
• Getting plenty of rest every night
• Eating healthy foods that are rich in cancer-fighting anti-oxidants
• Getting at least 40 minutes of aerobic exercise, at least three times a week
• Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
• Asking for help when you need it
For more information about relieving caregiver stress, please contact Home Instead Senior Care at 480-827-4343 or Like us on Facebook .
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.