●● WITH Dr Paul Bowen, a GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton, and executive chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). ONE in three women who get breast cancer are over 70, yet many women consider themselves to be safe once they pass this age.
This is why the ‘Be Clear On Cancer’ campaign is currently focused on ensuring women in this age group do not assume they are ‘past it’.
Early diagnosis of breast cancer is crucial and means treatment is more likely to be successful.
Indeed, if breast cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage in women over 70, 93 per cent will live for at least another five years.
This figure drops to just 13pc for those diagnosed at the most advanced stage. However, we can improve timely diagnosis by encouraging people to see their GP without delay and raising awareness of signs and symptoms.
This is all the more important as a survey carried out by Public Health England found that less than half of women over 70 could name a symptom of breast cancer other than a lump.
Knowledge of other breast cancer symptoms is higher among those aged 40 to 69, with 73pc able to name at least one non-lump symptom.
Possible signs of breast cancer include: ●● A lump or thickening in your breast or armpit ●● Changes to the skin of your breast ●● Changes in the shape or size of your breast ●● Nipple changes ●● Nipple discharge ●● Pain in your breast ●● Any other unusual or persistent changes to your breast.