It is especially important to spread awareness among seniors about the importance of routine breast cancer screenings. According to the Mayo Clinic, early breast cancer detection is the best way to improve long-term prognosis. It is important that senior women and men understand their individual risks for breast cancer and what screening tests are important to help them maintain their health. You can make a difference! Here are some ways that you can support seniors during breast cancer awareness month:
- Encourage seniors to talk to their doctor. Talking to your doctor about your breast cancer risks can be overwhelming. Family members can accompany seniors to their doctor appointments to provide support. Caregivers can help seniors prepare for appointments by writing down questions ahead of time and providing advocacy for patients as they ask questions.
- Schedule routine screening appointments. Following your doctor’s advice for routine screening appointments is essential for seniors to maintain their health. Caregivers can help schedule appointments, provide transport to appointments and provide support during the screening.
- Know the signs of breast cancer. Seniors should ask their doctor about what signs may be signs of breast cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, some signs include a change in breast tissue such as a lump, dimpling to the breast or peeling of the skin around the areola. Caregivers can encourage seniors to talk about any changes that they notice in their breast health. The sooner you talk to your doctor about changes in health, the sooner can start treatment.
- Understand that breast health affects men and women. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, about one percent of men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Although it is rare, certain lifestyle and genetic factors may increase an individual’s risk for developing cancer. Senior men should be encouraged to talk to their doctor about their individual risks and what screenings may be right for them.
- Wear pink! Wearing pink in October shows support for breast cancer survivors and helps spread the news about breast cancer awareness.