Older women are at greater risk of breast cancer. Woman’s Weekly in partnership with Be Clear on Cancer asks, do you know the signs?
One in three women diagnosed with breast cancer are aged 70 or over. But despite older women being at increased risk, they are also more likely to delay going to their GP with symptoms.
If you’re over 70, don’t assume you’re past it. It’s important to be breast aware and to know how your breasts look and feel normally, so that you’ll find it easier to spot something unusual. If you notice any changes, visit your doctor straight away.
Signs To Look Out For
Almost a third of women diagnosed with breast cancer report symptoms other than a lump. Possible signs of breast cancer include:
- A lump or thickening in the breast or armpit
- Any changes to the skin of the breast
- Changes in your breast shape or size
- Nipple changes
- Nipple discharge
- Pain in the breast
- Any other unusual or persistent changes to the breasts
If you have any of these symptoms, your doctor will want to see you.
Breast Cancer Screening
Women between the ages of 50 and 70 are invited for screening every three years. Screening can detect breast cancer at an earlier stage. If you’re over 70, you can request free screening every three years.
Simply get in touch with your local breast screening unit to make an appointment – find your local unit at nhs.uk/breastscreening. For more information on the process, go to nhs.uk/breast-screening-programme.
Make A Difference
People often take advice from friends and family about sensitive health issues. If your mother, grandmother, aunt or friend is over 70, have a conversation about being breast aware. If they’ve noticed changes to their breasts, encourage them to see their doctor as soon as possible.
A lump isn’t the only sign of breast cancer. If you notice any changes to your breasts, tell your doctor straight away.