As we all age, it seems there are more and more health issues that put us at risk. It can be daunting! But knowledge is power and power gives us control. So learning to be your own warriors in the ageless battle against breast cancer is critical, especially for women!
Age Increases Risk of Breast Cancer
Unfortunately, as women age, the risk of breast cancer increases significantly. Studies have shown that nearly half of all cases of breast cancer in the United States occur in women who are 65 years or older. Due to some age-related health issues that can be present in these women, treatment can take an even greater toll and put a woman in her senior years of life at greater risk for being unable to withstand the aggressive nature of many forms of cancer treatment.
If a diagnosis of breast cancer has been made, the best course of treatment for an older woman will naturally depend on the stage and the growth rate of the cancer, but it will also be based on the existence of any significant health problems that could be worsened by the chosen treatment. Chemotherapy is often not tolerated by older women in poor health, and even surgery can be considered more high-risk. There are, however, much less aggressive treatment options that can be effective and eliminate the need for chemotherapy and result in fewer side effects.
Regardless of age, regular mammograms and screenings are critical in early detection and prevention. Women who regularly get mammograms from the age of 50 on reduce their risk of death from breast cancer, so it’s important to maintain regular appointments for clinical breast exams as well as mammograms to keep aware of any changes in breast health.
A few other helpful ways to prevent breast cancer or detect it in its early stages include:
- Performing monthly breast self-checks and learning what signs to be aware of that might indicate abnormalities.
- Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. Eating healthfully helps reduce body fat and maintain a healthy weight, which plays a significant role in reducing the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Staying active to maintain a steady and healthy weight.
- Being smoke-free.
- Drinking only in moderation.
- Boosting your vitamin D levels, either by using supplements or by getting adequate time out in the sun.
Be your own warrior in the ageless battle against breast cancer! Call the expert team of senior living advocates at Watermark of Gulf Breeze Assisted Living & Memory Care to learn more about the senior life services we offer today!