Management of Pancreatic Cancer in Seniors

By Lutgarda Mariano, 9:00 am on

When a senior is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it’s important to take steps toward treating the disease and preventing additional complications. Knowing which measures to prioritize can be overwhelming, but Victoria, BC, elderly care professionals are here to offer some tips on managing pancreatic cancer past age 65.

Optimize Nutrition

The pancreas plays an important role in the digestive system, and any damage to this organ can have a major impact on the body’s ability to break down and absorb nutrients. Seniors who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer should consider contacting a dietitian to discuss dietary guidelines. As a general rule, seniors with cancer should drink plenty of water and avoid sweets, alcoholic beverages, and greasy foods.

Find the Right Combination of Treatments

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, over half of all seniors will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. Though these numbers are staggering, we still know very little about how pancreatic cancer affects older adults and which treatments are the most effective. Seniors and their Victoria caregivers should seek out multiple opinions and work closely with an oncologist to make sure they have been correctly diagnosed and are receiving the most effective treatments. Some seniors benefit from a combination of treatments, including chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. 

Prepare for Diabetes

A healthy pancreas produces enough insulin to digest food and regulate blood sugar levels. After the cancerous cells have damaged the pancreas, seniors have a very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to a lack of insulin. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and exercising as much as possible, seniors should also speak with their doctors about additional diabetes treatments like insulin shots and patches.

Develop a Comprehensive Pain Management Plan

Even if your loved one is not going to have surgery carried out on the pancreas, there is still a good chance he or she will experience some discomfort. Because of their unwanted side effects, prescription painkillers should only be used as a temporary solution. Other techniques for managing long-term pain include meditation, deep breathing, exercise, massage, physical therapy, and acupuncture.

A live-in home caregiver in Victoria can help your loved one manage his or her condition by assisting with cooking, bathing, medication reminders, and various other daily tasks. Call Home Care Assistance today at (250) 592-4881 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services and to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

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