Talk Directly to a Care Advisor

1-800-955-8510

Breast Cancer Among the Elderly

Breast Cancer Screening

Even though breast cancer affects women of all ages, the disease is most common among older American women. Men can also get breast cancer, however they account for only a few of the reported cases.

Even though it is a common myth, breast cancer is not communicable. A person cannot get cancer by being exposed or interacting with someone with the disease. In addition, breast cancer is not caused by an injury to the breast. It is important to note that most women who develop breast cancer do not have any known risk factors or family history of the disease. A small percentage of breast cancer is believed to be inherited.


Risk factors of Breast Cancer

The risk factors vary for the disease. While breast cancer does affect younger women, most cases of breast cancer occurs in women between the ages of 45 to 85. The risk of breast cancer in a woman age 70 is far greater than a woman at age 30. The risk for breast cancer is believed to decrease after age 85. However, no matter the age, women should be acutely aware of the risk factors and warning signs.

Among being older, here are some of the other most common risk factors:

  • Personal and Family History
  • High Estrogen Levels
  • Never Being Pregnant (or having child in your mid-30s or later)
  • Early Menstruation (before 12)
  • Breast Density
  • Exposure to Radiation
  • Obesity
  • Drinking Alcohol
  • Race (Caucasian women are at higher risk)
  • Inherited gene changes

Today, there are many ways to treat breast cancer. However, all treatments work best when the disease is detected early. When caught in its earliest stage, the survival rate is extremely high.
 

Warning Signs of Breast Cancer

When it comes to your health, never ignore any warning signs. In the early stages, breast cancer may not present any symptoms at all. However, as the cancer grows, it can cause noticeable changes in the breast. Women should watch for the following in the breast or underarm area:

  • A Lump or Thickening Skin
  • A Change in Size or Shape, a Dimple or Puckering in the Skin, an Inward Turned Nipple
  • Unusual Fluid from the Nipple (especially, if it is bloody)

For the best outcome, it is imperative for breast cancer to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Unfortunately, many women believe changes in the body are to be expected and simply due to aging. As a result, many illnesses, including breast cancer, go undiagnosed and, therefore, untreated. The simple rule: Do not ignore any symptoms because you believe they are insignificant or "normal" for your age. If you experience any of the symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor and start asking questions.
 

Self-examination

Women of all ages are encouraged to conduct a monthly self-examination. To ensure full coverage, it is important to inspect the breast physically and visually from different angles and positions. Therefore, it is recommended to inspect the breast in the shower, in front of a mirror and laying down. Many cases of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump.

Check both breasts, feeling for lumps, thickening or hardened knots. Visually inspect the breasts for contour changes, swelling, dimpling of the skin or changes in the nipples. Set a reminder on your phone, mark your calendar or get a buddy and remind each other. To keep it simple, pick the same date each month, such as the first day or last day of the month.
 

Mammograms

An annual mammogram is recommended for adult women, especially as they get older. A mammogram is a special x-ray that can detect breast cancer too small for you or a doctor to identify.

During the procedure, the breast is placed on a flat support plate and compressed with a parallel plate. A small burst of low-energy x-rays passes through the breast to a detector on the other side. The x-ray can identify uncharacteristic masses or micro-calcifications, which may indicate the early stages of breast cancer.

A regular mammogram is the best method to detect breast cancer early, sometimes years before symptoms can be seen or felt.
 

Free screenings

For many seniors, getting screened can be costly because of a limited income. Many state and local health programs provide free or low-cost mammograms, so check with your local organizations or community groups.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides clinical breast exams and mammograms to low-income, uninsured women. For more information, call 1–800–232–4636.

The National Cancer Institute also offers free or low-cost mammography screening programs via local hospitals and community groups. For more information, call 1–800–422–6237.

As with all health issues or concerns, consult your physician. Take charge of your health, even though it can be daunting or scary. Without good health, you cannot be there for your children and grandchildren.


Written by Bryan K. Chavez for Senior Directory, LLC

Comments

Related Articles

Senior Citizen Moving Checklist

Whether you’re the one that will be moving as a senior, or you’ll be helping...

Read Full Article

10 Life Insurance Companies Worth Checking Out Before Retirement

If you are considering getting life insurance, the follow top 10 companies should help you...

Read Full Article

Sex Life After 50? How to Keep It Going For Senior Males

Without a doubt, life in the bedroom changes after 50, given the normal aging process...

Read Full Article

Why Older Americans Are Turning to CBD

So how can CBD products improve your quality of life if you are an older adult? Here are...

Read Full Article

5 Benefits Of Chiropractic Care for Senior Citizens

Chiropractic care can help you deal with many areas of your health, including some of the...

Read Full Article

5 Tips on Choosing the Right Retirement Destination

The only thing harder to do than deciding on the right time when to retire is choosing the...

Read Full Article

4 Camping Considerations for Senior Citizens

Camping is just one of the many activities older adults can enjoy, however some older adults...

Read Full Article

Spinal Degeneration: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

One-third of adults between the ages of 40 and 59 have moderate to severe degenerative disc...

Read Full Article

Learning How to Live with Mesothelioma in the Long Term

If you're struggling with mesothelioma or you know someone who's been afflicted with...

Read Full Article

How to Avoid Back Pain While Traveling

If you’re one of the over 100 million Americans who travel for the holidays, chances...

Read Full Article

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

Sign up for our FREE monthly newsletter to receive the most up-to-date information on caring for your elderly parent or loved one

Order your printed copy of Senior Directory today!

Still enjoy flipping through the pages of a printed copy? So do we! Click on the button below to start receiving Senior Directory right at your doorstep!

Order Your Copy

I prefer the digital copy, please.

Speak to one of our advisors 1-800-955-8510