Every October, the world comes together to raise awareness and find a cure for breast cancer. According to BreastCancer.org, it’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women and the second-most common in Canada. The death rate for breast cancer goes down about 1% a year due to early detection and better treatment but we still don’t have a cure.
Breast cancer starts in the cells, usually forming a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. It’s important to remember that breast tissue cells cover a larger area than just the breast, extending up to the collarbone and from the armpit to the breastbone. Unfortunately, the most significant risk factors are being a woman and being over 70 years old, which means seniors need to be aware of symptoms and how to detect them.
When breast cancer is detected early, and is in the localized stage, the survival rate is almost 99%. Early detection includes doing monthly self-exams and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.
Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiencies are linked to breast cancer, among other diseases.
A sedentary lifestyle also increases risk. Senior women who get regular exercise may be able to lower their breast cancer risk by as much as 20%.
We understand how important it is to support those affected by breast cancer. As a reminder, if you or a loved one discovers any breast lump or change, it needs to be checked by a doctor to determine if it is benign or malignant.