“1 in 3 women who get breast cancer are over 70, so don’t assume you’re past it.” Dr Rosie Loftus Be Clear On Cancer
The Breast Cancer Be Clear On Cancer campaign run by NHS Choices seeks to make people aware of the signs of cancer to improve their chances of survival. Spotting cancer signs early dramatically increases your chances of survival.
The #breastcancer70 campaign is all about highlighting the fact that you are never too old to get breast cancer. In the case of breast cancer, the older you are, the more likely you are to get it. As a result, the campaign is focussing on women over 70 in a bid to encourage them to check and look out for any unusual changes in their breasts and to make an appointment with their GP if they have any concerns. Their GP will be able to assess their symptoms and decide whether they need to go for screening. If you are over 70, you are entitled to a free breast screening every two years. All you need to do is make an appointment at your local breast screening unit.
At present, breast cancer affects 41,200 women every year. Signs of breast cancer can include one or more of the following:
- A lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
- Change to the skin of your breast
- Changes in the shape or size of your breast
- Nipple changes
- Nipple discharge
- Pain in your breast
- Any other unusual or persistent changes to your breast
You can reduce your chances of developing breast cancer by reducing your alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy weight and partaking in a regular exercise regime.
If you are reading this article and have a mother or a grandmother over 70, you can help by making sure they are aware of the facts and signposting them to the right information.
Developments in the treatment of breast cancer are happening all the time. You can read more about a recent study on how the inclusion of hormones in breast cancer treatment drugs might be linked to slowing its development on the Richmond GP Out of Hours blog.