Home Care Blog | October 16, 2017
Elderly Care and Breast Cancer | Since 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, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Early detection is key to successfully treating breast cancer, and adult women 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, treatment options and elderly care services available in Calgary, AB.
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 more of these risk factors do not get breast cancer.
Senior women who get an annual screening will do so through a mammogram, 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.
The 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. Some seniors find having a caregiver go with them makes the procedure easier and more comfortable.
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. Professional in home elderly care is a great solution for senior women in need of assistance with personal care tasks, light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication management and other care services at home.