Breast Cancer: What Does It Look Like as You Age and How to Catch It Early?

women in pink with pink breast cancer ribbon holding hands in celebration
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the cells comprising- and compromising- the breast. After skin cancer, Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in this country, and while most often found in females, men are not immune to this disease. So, how can you stay safe? What are the signs of breast cancer as you age? Seniors are most at-risk for breast cancer; as always, talk to your doctor or in-home care providers to learn more.

Breast Cancer Statistics

There are almost 275,000 new diagnoses of breast cancer each year, and the American Cancer Society estimates that there are around three-million cancer survivors alive today. It may surprise you to know that nearly half of these new diagnoses are among women, age 60 and older; an additional 20% are over the age of 70. These statistics clearly show that you are more at-risk for developing breast cancer as you age.

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

What other risk factors contribute to whether you contract breast cancer, besides age? Around 10% of cancer cases are genetic; that is, the cancer gene is inherited from a parent. Know your medical history- including your parents’- and provide this information to your practitioner or doctor for a continuum of care and early diagnosis if you, in fact, have breast cancer.

Furthermore, excess weight can increase the risk of breast cancer due to estrogen being stored in the fat tissue. Drinking alcohol also has been shown to increase the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.

Early Signs and Symptoms Among Seniors

What are some early symptoms and signs that you should look for? For the elderly that live alone or in senior living situations, this includes checking yourself regularly for lumps, swelling, redness, or discharge from or around the breast. Itching or warmth in the breasts may also be indicative of an issue.

Pain in the breast always merits medical attention, too. Elderly care tips would include regular visits to a trusted provider who can identify any issues and address any concerns surrounding cancer risks.

Looking for assistance with elderly care or a senior living situation? Call or visit us today. 
If you- or someone you love- would benefit from in-home care in our service region, reach out to us at Gentle Shepherd Home Care, today. We are a premier and locally owned In-Home Care provider serving Colorado Springs, Dallas, and the surrounding areas.
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