Oct 12, 2017 by Robert Myer
Since early detection is key to successfully treating breast cancer, older adults who make it a priority to visit their doctor for an annual screening can save their life. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month in Gulfport, MS and that means that all senior women should dedicate some time to get a breast cancer screening and a health check up.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the risk factors of breast cancer as well as what can be expected during a screening and treatment plan.
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. Being overweight and eating a poor diet can also increase a senior women’s risk of developing cancer. Professional in home health care services can help seniors manage their diet, cook healthy meals, and get regular exercise to lower those risks. It’s important to note that although these are risk factors, the majority of senior woman with one or even a couple of these risk factors do not get breast cancer.
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.
Once all clothing from the waist up is removed and the gown is on, an 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. In home health care professionals stress the importance of regular breast cancer screenings for senior women.
If your senior loved one in Gulfport, MS is due for a cancer screening or needs help getting to and from medical appointments contact us or call (601) 620-0872 today to find out more about in home health care for seniors and how we can help your loved one get the medical care she needs.