Oct 12, 2017 by Robert Myer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since early detection is key to successfully treating breast cancer, older adult women who make it a priority to go to the doctor for an annual screening can save their life. Home care professionals recommend senior women should take some time out of their schedule to make sure they are free from this life-threatening disease. 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 seeking a treatment plan or living assistance services in Metairie, LA.
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.
Once all clothing from the waist up is removed and the gown is on, 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.
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. Women can lower their risk factors for breast cancer by managing their weight effectively. Home care living assistance services can help senior women exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and work on lowering their risk factors. 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.
In the event that breast cancer is detected, a medical team will determine its stage and design an appropriate treatment plan and recommended living assistance services. 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.
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.
Senior caregivers can provide the assistance that senior women in Metairie, LA, or the surrounding areas, need for obtaining their annual breast cancer screening, help with personal care tasks, light housekeeping, medication reminders and much more. If your senior loved one could benefit from elderly care services contact us or call (504) 300-0115 today for more information.