Breast cancer – women over 70

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1 in 3 women who get breast cancer are over 70, so don’t assume you’re past it

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in England with around 41,200 women diagnosed each year. The older you are, the more likely you are to get it – one in three women who get breast cancer are aged 70 and over. If breast cancer is detected early, it is more treatable. Finding it early could save your life.

Signs to watch out for    >

The first symptom of breast cancer most women notice is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast. Most breast lumps (90%) aren’t cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by your doctor.

You should see your GP if you notice any of the following:

  • a lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast
  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • discharge from either of your nipples (which may be streaked with blood)
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • a rash on or around your nipple
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

Statistics    >

  • 1 in 3 women who get breast cancer are over 70
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in England with around 41,500 women diagnosed each year – of which around 13,500 (a third) are aged 70 and over
  • In England, around 5,400 women aged 70 and over die from breast cancer each year

Useful links    >

Downloadable resources