It’s a tradition in October to unite together to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, as studies show that one out of eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime. But did you know: 80% of all breast cancer occurs in women over the age of 50, and 60% of cases are found in women over the age of 65, making it a very senior-centric disease, and increasing the importance of staying proactive about your health as you age.
It can also be more difficult for seniors to bounce back from cancer treatments, so it is incredibly important to practice preventative and proactive healthy habits rather than waiting until reactive medicine is necessary.
Early Detection is Everything
When it comes to breast cancer, especially in aging women, early detection is extremely important because there is a greater chance to treat the cancer while it is in an early stage. The first step is to regularly self-examine your breasts so that you know what is normal, and can be aware of any unusual symptoms. Changes in how your breast feels or appears could be signs that something is off. The second step is being proactive if you do notice an abnormality. Do not hesitate to schedule an appointment to see your doctor for an exam or a screening if something feels off. Even if it ends up being nothing, it is better to get it checked out professionally as soon as you notice it.
The biggest issue for senior patients with breast cancer is their unwillingness to come forward to speak to a doctor about potential issues. Doctors suspect that this unwillingness to proactively come forward and talk about abnormalities or issues stems from a generational conservative attitude about keeping health issues private, as well as many seniors assuming that issues could be side effects of other illnesses or medications that they have.
A combination of awareness, early detection, and improved treatment options are doing wonders to spread hope and change across communities. The good news is since the dawn of the 21st century, there has been a significant decline in deaths caused by breast cancer. Studies are suggesting that these numbers will continue to decrease thanks to initiatives and awareness from people across the nation.
However, it is important to remember that early detection is the biggest factor in lowering the mortality rate of breast cancer, and the number of aging patients that seek proactive medical care for breast cancer is far too low. So, be sure to encourage regular breast exams among the women that you love, and also reassure them that having a proactive relationship with their doctor can be life saving!
American In-Home Care and our sister companies Advocate, Douglas, and Whitsyms always refer qualified, and screened care providers for home health care in Tampa and surrounding areas that are compassionate and ready to help with services like transportation, assistance with activities of daily living, and companionship. Contact us at 1-844-505-0004 to schedule your free in-home consultation to discuss which care options are right for you and your family.