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Early detection is key to beating breast cancer in senior women

A mammogram is one of the early ways to detect breast cancer. It is recommended that women between 50-69 get a mammogram once every two years.
A mammogram is one of the early ways to detect breast cancer. It is recommended that women between 50-69 get a mammogram once every two years. MCT

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women.

The American Cancer Society estimates one woman in eight will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. The chances for developing breast cancer only increase in senior women 65 and older, and the outcome from breast cancer also worsens with age — 6.3 percent of women older than 65 die from the cancer as opposed to about 5 percent of women younger than 65.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to BreastCancer.org, about 300,000 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2016. Men have a one in 1,000 chance of developing breast cancer in their lives.

There are about 3 million women in the U.S. who have had some history of breast cancer.

Although genetics and other factors can create a risk for breast cancer, the two biggest factors are gender (female) and age. Women older than 65 have a 7 percent chance of developing breast cancer. This chance jumps to 29 percent for women older than 75.

The symptoms of breast cancer vary from person to person, but there are some ways to detect breast cancer in its early stages.

One of the easiest ways to check for breast cancer is to do a monthly self-exam. According to BreastCancer.org, about 20 percent of diagnosed breast cancer is found through a self-examination.

A self-exam can help determine things such as nipple tenderness or a lump in the breast, as well as a change in the texture or color of the skin of the breast. Though all detected lumps should be checked by a professional, not all lumps found in the breast are cancerous.

Another way to check for breast cancer is to have a mammogram.

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. The breast is exposed to a small dose of radiation that gives an image of the tissue. It is recommended that women ages 50-69 get a mammogram every two years.

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