Oct 12, 2017 by Robert Myer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, meaning all senior women should take some time out of their schedule to make sure they are free from this life-threatening disease. Since early detection is key to successfully treating breast cancer, older adults who make it a priority to go to the doctor for an annual screening can save their life. Let’s take a closer look at some of the risk factors of breast cancer as well as what can be expected during a screening and treatment plan.
Research has proven that there are several primary risk factors that can increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. It’s important to note that although these are risk factors, the majority of senior woman with one or even a couple of these risk factors do not get breast cancer.
These risk factors include age, adolescent weight gain, no pregnancy or late pregnancy, late menopause, post-menopausal weight gain, increased breast tissue density, chest radiation as a child, and a long-term use of oral contraceptives. Senior women who want to lower their risk of developing cancer by managing their weight and eating a healthy diet but struggle due to conditions like Arthritis can get help and support from home caregivers. Senior care services make a difference in the lives of many adult women.
Senior women who get an annual screening will do so through a mammogram which is an x-ray of the breast that can detect cancer before any physical symptoms such as a lump or pain arise. The mammogram will be performed in a private room with an X-ray technician who will provide an older woman with a gown to wear.
Once all clothing from the waist up is removed and the gown is on, an X-ray technician will place each of the woman’s breasts between two plastic plates. Although this procedure may be uncomfortable, it is essential as it allows the breast tissue to spread and flatten so that a clear image of the breast can be created.
If the mammogram does not reveal any issues, senior women can expect to receive a letter within 30 days of the procedure informing them that their results were normal. However, if doctors locate something suspicious, they will call them back within 5 days to perform further testing.
In the event that breast cancer is detected, a medical team will determine its stage and design an appropriate treatment plan. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy are four of the most common breast cancer treatments. A senior woman’s stage, clinical history, and preferences are all taken into consideration before a treatment is prescribed.
Since aging can lead to an increased risk of abnormal changes in the cells, older women are more likely to develop breast cancer. Therefore, seniors should make every effort to visit their healthcare provider for a screening this October. With senior care services, adult women can have the additional support at home they may require to proactively receive treatment and maintain a household.
Living a healthy lifestyle and getting regular cancer screenings is critically important for senior women. If you have a senior loved one in Jackson, MS contact us or call (601) 620-0867 today to find out more about how senior care services can help your loved one life better and stay healthy at home.