Cancer is a generic term for a group of more than 100 diseases that can affect different parts of the body. Among elderly men, cancers of the prostrate and colon are the most common while for women it is breast cancer. Other cancers found in geriatric patients are skin, lung, pancreas, bladder, rectum and stomach cancer. A major initiative taken by the Government against Cancer was the initiation of the National Cancer Control Programme. This programme aims on primary prevention and early detection of the disease. To improve availability of cancer treatment facilities, various Regional Cancer Centres have been established across the country.
Here are some tips that help prevent cancer
- Quit smoking: It is better late than never.
- Moderate your diet. Diets high in fruits and vegetables may have a protective effect against many cancers.
- Do regular physical activity and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Avoid excessive exposure to ionizing radiation. Use sunscreen and protective clothing while walking in the sun.
Specialised Cancer Hospitals in India
- Jawaharlal Nehru Cancer Hospital and Research Centre
- The Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute
- Indian Cancer Society
- Kailash Cancer Hospital and Research Centre
Any diseases or disorder that affects the functioning of the kidneys is a kidney disease. Kidney diseases can be characterized as hereditary, congenital or acquired. Chronic kidney disease is known to affect the elderly and is associated with a high risk of kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and death.
About 200,000 persons in India go into terminal kidney failure every year. Millions of others suffer from lesser forms of kidney diseases. Keeping in mind the level of kidney problems in India a voluntary organization called the National Kidney Foundation (India) has been formed by concerned individuals.
Prevention of kidney disease
- Keep blood pressure under control.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Maintain healthy levels of fats (lipids), such as cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Do not smoke or use any tobacco products.
Specialised Hospitals that treat kidney problems in India
- National Kidney Hospital, Jalandhar – Call Here – 0181–2440252, 5083883, 2272236 and 2223252.
- National Kidney Foundation
It is estimated that two people die of TB every three minutes in India. These deaths can be prevented through modern anti–TB treatment such as DOTS that has to be undertaken for a prescribed duration. The government has established the National Tuberculosis Programme to create the infrastructure for the control of the disease.
Prevention of Tuberculosis
- Wash hands frequently, especially after being around people with chronic coughs.
- Take an annual TB test. They are available at minimal costs at community clinics.
- Chest X–ray cab be undertaken to detect clinical signs of TB in lungs.
- Avoid standing close to people when they are coughing.
- A lot of fresh air should be inhaled to keep lungs healthy.
- A healthy diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, calcium, protein and fibre should be consumed.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized high blood sugar and other signs. It occurs when the beta cells of the pancreas are unable to produce sufficient insulin. The main problem with diabetes is that it cannot be cured, it can only be managed to make you feel better.
Tips to control diabetes
- Exercise daily: Morning walk, yoga, running and aerobics all help.
- Make healthy food choices: Choose foods with lower fat, calories and salt. Try fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. Replace soft drinks with fresh juices and water.
- Eat sensible meals and snacks at regular times throughout the day.
- Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that you’ are full.
Loss of vision and eye diseases like cataracts and age related macular degeneration are major eye problems of the elderly. The Government has launched the National Programme for Control of Blindness to treat various eye problems and control blindness. Here are some tips to help you maintain good eyesight
Tips to avoid eye problems
- When doing concentrated activity such as sewing or reading, rest your eyes for five minutes at 30–minute intervals. Look away from your work, close your eyes, or simply stare off into space.
- Blink regularly. This breaks the continuous focus.
- Palm your eyes. Sit comfortably, breathe deeply and cover your eyes with the palms of your hands.
- Protect your eyes from direct sunrays and any kind of dangerous substances.
Specialised Eye Hospitals in India
Common skin problems that are faced by the elderly are Stasis Dermatitis and Exfoliative dermatitis. Stasis Dermatitis causes redness, swelling, tenderness and dry scaly skin. It is caused by water pooling in the lower leg due to poor blood flow in the veins. Treatments for this condition include raising the leg, wrapping the leg with an elastic bandage and medication.
Exfoliative dermatitis is excessive peeling or shedding of the skin. The skin may feel tight or hair may be lost in that area. It may be caused by drug reactions, leukaemia, malignancies and other immune deficiencies. Treatments include bed rest, lukewarm soaks or baths, creams and lotions, prescription medications such as antihistamines and rubbing the skin gently when it itches.
Do not scratch the skin for any of the above conditions. The use of sunscreen is a useful prevention strategy.
Hospitals in states, cities have deployed practitioners to help Senior Citizen patients with bone problems, cardio treatment, kidney related issues and other health problems. Most of such processes may require intake of several expensive advanced medicines (free from side effects) and Government Hospitals also provide medicines to minimize the burden on the Senior Citizens in the process of regaining good health.
- Government hospitals in Kerala
- Government hospitals in Maharashtra
- Government hospitals in Chennai
- Government hospitals in Karnataka