Oct 6, 2017 by Kristina Butler
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During this time, all senior women and men should take the time to ensure they do not have this deadly disease. Unlike most age-related ailments, breast cancer does not have overt signs and symptoms. Instead, an individual may have breast cancer and not know it until it is too late. For this reason, seniors should make it a priority to conduct monthly self-examinations and schedule annual screenings. These simple tests could save their life.
One in eight women in America will suffer from breast cancer. That accounts for 30 percent of all cancers in women. While the primary risk factor is having a first-degree relative who also had or has breast cancer, there are many others risks as well. Among these risks are long-term use of oral contraceptives, regular alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity.
Once a woman reaches puberty, she should start with breast self-examinations. During these monthly self-checks, women should look for lumps, tenderness, or unusual pain. Once a woman reaches menopause, they should also start with annual mammograms. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. During the mammogram, each breast is placed between plastic plates to spread and flatten the breast tissue. While the exam in uncomfortable, the test can reveal cancer well before lumps or pain are identified. This early detection is essential to a successful cure.
If breast cancer is found, there are numerous treatment options, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy. With advances in medical screening, technology, and treatment, breast cancer survival is increasing every year. Currently, there are more than three million survivors of breast cancer in the United States alone.
For many seniors, companion care is an essential part of combatting loneliness and depression. Seniors who live alone may feel isolated or lonely when dealing with issues such as breast cancer. In these cases, Comfort Keepers companion care providers can make a significant difference. From going to appointments with the senior to accompanying them to treatments should breast cancer be found, a senior does not have to go through these challenges alone.
For more information about breast cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or the many benefits of Comfort Keepers companion care, contact a senior care coordinator today.
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