Oct 16, 2017 by Lisa Carson RN, BSN
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. Senior home care professional share some of the risk factors of breast cancer, as well as what can be expected during a screening and treatment options available in Lubbock, TX.
Research has proven that there are several primary risk factors that can increase a woman’s chance of developing 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.
It’s important to note that although these are risk factors, the majority of senior woman with one or more of these risk factors do not get breast cancer.
Female seniors can help manage their risk of developing breast cancer and other cancers by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of rest. Senior women who have trouble exercising or need help cooking healthy meals can benefit from senior home care.
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.
The 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.
If you have a senior loved one in Lubbock, TX that prefers to remain at home but needs some extra help maintaining a healthy, independent lifestyle contact us or call (806) 228-7359 to get more information about senior home care. Ask about scheduling your free in-home consultation today.