One in three women diagnosed with breast cancer each year are aged 70 or over

NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is supporting the national Be Clear on Cancer campaign and are urging women aged 70 or over to be aware of breast cancer symptoms.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in England with around 44,600 women diagnosed every year. National figures show that around 9,500 women die from breast cancer each year and over half of these women are aged 70 and over (5,400). This equates to around 15 women aged 70 and over dying from breast cancer in England every day.

Dr Andy Hall, GP at Orchard Partnership said,
“Despite older women being at an increased risk of breast cancer, they are also more likely to delay in going to their GP with breast cancer symptoms. We are not just talking about a lump, if you notice any unusual or persistent changes to your breasts such as a change to a nipple, or to the skin or the shape of a breast, book an appointment with your doctor and have it investigated.”

It’s important for all women over 70 to not assume they are past it. Early diagnosis of breast cancer is crucial and means treatment is more likely to be successful.  If breast cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage, it will increase their chances of survival.

Dr Hall continued,
“It’s important to carry on checking your breasts as you get older because the chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age. The earlier it’s caught the better, so know the symptoms, and don’t be afraid to visit your doctor if you are concerned about any potential signs.”

Possible signs of breast cancer include:

  • A lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
  • Change to the skin of your breast
  • Changes in the shape or size of your breast
  • Nipple changes
  • Nipple discharge
  • Pain in your breast or armpit
  • Any other unusual or persistent changes to your breasts

If you have any of these symptoms, your doctor will want to see you.

For more information on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, please visit our campaign page