Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Women aged over 70 - breast cancer can still affect you

Monday, 03 February 2014

One in three women who develop breast cancer are over 70, so don't assume that you're past it or dismiss any symptoms as a sign of ageing - that's the message from Hampshire County Council to local women in support of the new national breast cancer awareness campaign.

A woman's risk of breast cancer increases with age. Over 300 women aged 70 and over* were diagnosed with breast cancer in Hampshire in 2011, (the latest year figures are published for), yet survival rates are lower in this age group compared to younger women.

Research shows that women over 70 are less aware of the symptoms of breast cancer, other than a lump. Possible signs of breast cancer include:

  • a lump in your breast or armpit
  • nipple changes
  • changes to the skin of your breast
  • changes in the shape or size of your breast
  • pain in your breast or armpit.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: "I would urge anyone who spots any of the possible signs of breast cancer not to be afraid to go and talk to their GP.

"Your doctor understands that a lump or other sign of breast cancer may need investigating. They are ready and waiting to help and will not think you are wasting their time. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival."

The breast cancer campaign aims to raise awareness of breast cancer symptoms in women over 70 and to encourage them, if they have symptoms, to seek help early.

* Female breast cancer (ICD-10:C50) - cases registered and deaths registered in 2011. Data provided by Public Health England, West Midlands Knowledge and Intelligence Team, extracted from the Cancer Analysis System, December 2013

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