Professional caregivers that provide senior care as in-home care to females and assist with personal care needs such as grooming and bathing are in a unique position to assist with the early detection of breast cancer, while providing elder care.
UK Study Finds Low Awareness for Non-Lump Breast Cancer Symptoms
A recent study in the UK, conducted by Public Health England (PHE) gives some insights that are applicable to American women, especially those over the age of seventy-years old.
The PHE study addresses issues of breast cancer as a part of elder care for women. One in three women with breast cancer is over 70. The PHE found that about 30% of women have symptoms other than a lump in the breast. However, awareness of non-lump breast cancer symptoms is low. Only 48% of women in the survey, over 70 years-old, could identify any symptom of breast cancer that is not just a lump in the breast.
The conclusion of this survey is that the focus on detecting lumps in the breast through patient examination and self-examination has caused many to lack awareness of other symptoms. The reason this information is so important is that early detection of breast cancer has very high survival rates.
The PHE study found that for detection of breast cancer in its earliest stages, in women over 70, 93% live five years or longer. Compare this to breast cancer detection that occurs in advanced stages, where the survival rate drops significantly to only 13%. The PHE points out that a woman is never too old to get breast cancer, which can occur at any age.
Based on this study, the PHE launched a massive public awareness campaign in the UK to raise awareness of the breast cancer symptoms that are not lumps in the breast, which are:
- Changes in the shape of the breasts
- Changes to the nipple (including discharge)
- Changes to the skin of the breast
- Many women who get breast cancer do not have any lump, but have some of these other symptoms.
Professional caregivers who provide in-home care can help with this awareness by explaining this information to the females they care for and by careful observation of them while helping them bathe.
Breast Cancer in America
The good news is that breast cancer rates, in general, in the United States have been declining as reported by breastcancer.org. This comes from increased awareness, early detection, and medical advancements in hormone replacement therapy, which reduces the risk of breast cancer. Nevertheless, about 12% of American women get breast cancer, with an estimated 231,840 women diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. Even though it is rarer, men also get breast cancer, with 2,350 new cases expected in 2015.
The American Cancer Society gives this list of Breast Cancer Symptoms:
- Swelling of any part of the breast
- Dimpling or irritation of skin
- Pain in the breast
- Pain in the nipple area
- Change of the nipple such as inward depression
- Changes of the skin of the breast such as thickness, roughness, or red color
- Any discharge from the nipple that is not milk
- A lump in the breast or under the arm
Professional in-home caregivers remind us all that awareness is a powerful tool in the fight against breast cancer and that early detection is vitally important even for those women receiving elder care.
Senior Care in Pompano Beach FL
Activa Home Health Care is available to assist with Senior Care in Pompano Beach FL. Serving Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and surrounding communities. Call 561-819-4112.
Public Health England launches nationwide breast cancer campaign
U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics
Breast Cancer Symptoms