Oct 12, 2017 by Marlin Duncan
Quality home care means staying on top of annual medical appointments. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which makes it the perfect time for senior women to get a yearly breast cancer screening. Aging can lead to an increased risk of abnormal changes in the cells, older women are more likely to develop breast cancer. Therefore, seniors should make every effort to visit their healthcare provider for a screening this October.
Since early detection is key to successfully treating breast cancer, older adults who make it a priority to go to the doctor for an annual screening can save their life. 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. 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.
An X-ray technician will place each of the woman’s breasts between two plastic plates. After an x-ray of each breast is taken, the mammogram procedure will be over. 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.
If your senior loved one in Wilkes Barre, PA needs help with home care tasks around the house or needs assistance with things like grocery shopping or arriving to medical appointments, contact us or call (570) 486-6492 today to find out more about the benefits of in home care for seniors.