Elderly women are no longer being screened for breast cancer and figures reveal that more than half of deaths from breast cancer are in women aged 70 and above. Despite these shocking figures, this age group is not routinely screened for cancer.
Although elderly women can still ask for a breast x-ray, many assume that they are out of danger as they are no longer contacted reminding them to book a screening. Dr Emma Pennery, from Breast Cancer Care, said: ‘If women don’t get screening invitations dropping on their doormat, they may think they are not at risk.’ This generation of women are also less likely to check themselves for lumps and are anxious about ‘bothering’ doctors with their concerns.
The NHS is launching a campaign to increase awareness of breast cancer in older women and the national breast screening cut-off point is due to be extended to 73 by 2016. Sara Hiom, of Cancer Research UK, said: ‘The sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more likely treatment is to be effective and the chances of beating it are greater – whatever your age.’
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