ONE in three women who develop breast cancer are over 70, so don’t assume that you’re past it or dismiss any symptoms as a sign of ageing – that’s the message from Hampshire County Council to local women in support of the new national breast cancer awareness campaign.
A woman’s risk of breast cancer increases with age. Over 300 women aged 70 and over were diagnosed with breast cancer in Hampshire in 2011 – the latest year figures are published for – yet survival rates are lower in this age group compared with younger women.
Research shows that women over 70 are less aware of the symptoms of breast cancer, other than a lump.
Possible signs of breast cancer include:
A lump in your breast or armpit
Changes to the skin of your breast
Changes in the shape or size of your breast
Pain in your breast or armpit.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for adult social care and public health, said: “I would urge anyone who spots any of the possible signs of breast cancer not to be afraid to go and talk to their GP.
“Your doctor understands that a lump or other sign of breast cancer may need investigating. They are ready and waiting to help and will not think you are wasting their time.
“The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival.”
The Be Clear on Cancer breast cancer campaign aims to raise awareness of breast cancer symptoms in women over 70 and to encourage them, if they have symptoms, to seek help early. To find out more about the campaign, visit nhs.uk/breastcancer70.