Oct 6, 2017 by Katie Fielmann
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During this month, seniors should take the time to learn about breast cancer, its risks, screening options, and available treatments. Currently, one in eight American women will develop breast cancer at some time in their life, which accounts for 30 percent of all cancers suffered by women. Younger individuals may be found with breast cancer, but women over the age of 55 face the greatest risk. While men are significantly less likely to suffer from breast cancer, they are not immune.
Women who have a first-degree relative who has or who had breast cancer are twice as likely to develop it themselves. A first-degree relative is somebody like a mother, father, daughter, or son. While there is nothing that can be done about this risk factor, there are several others that can be addressed. Among the most common of these risk factors are excess weight, regular alcohol consumption, smoking, and the long-term use of oral contraceptives.
Breast cancer does not normally present itself with signs and symptoms. For this reason, it is important that regular checks and screenings are conducted. From the time a woman reaches puberty, she should conduct monthly breast self-examinations. Lumps, tenderness, and unusual pain should be reported to a physician. Once a woman reaches menopause, regular mammograms are suggested.
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. While mammograms are slightly uncomfortable, they can detect cancerous tissue well before lumps or pain would arise. The extra time resulting from early detection could be the difference between saving a breast and losing it, or even between life and death.
Today, there are many effective treatments for breast cancer and the survivability of this disease continues to rise. In the United States alone there are over three million breast cancer survivors and this number continues to grow.
Even if your senior loved one lives alone, they should take advantage of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to ensure they are keeping up with their screenings and avoiding breast cancer risks. Comfort Keepers home care assistance can help seniors get to and from medical appointments, treatments, and follow-up care. Home care assistance can also help seniors ensure they get to their annual screenings.
For more information about breast cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or home care assistance, contact a Comfort Keepers home care coordinator today.
Lombard, Mount Prospect, Willowbrook, Addison, Downers Grove, Oak Park, Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Berkeley, Oak Brook, Bloomingdale, Carol Steam, Glendale Heights, Itasca, Villa Park, Bolingbrook, Woodridge, Lisle, Darien, Willow Springs, Brookfield, Clarendon Hills, Hinsdale, La Grange, La Grange Park, Riverside, Western Springs, Westmont, River Grove, River Forest, Chicago and Elmwood Park.