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Women 'unaware' of breast cancer signs

16 July 2015 09:29

Around 41,200 women in England are diagnosed with breast cancer every year

Around 41,200 women in England are diagnosed with breast cancer every year

Older women risk not noticing breast cancer due to a lack of knowledge about symptoms, experts warn.

While almost all women aged 70 and over know to look out for a lump, half cannot name another symptom.

Despite older women being at an increased risk of breast cancer, Public Health England (PHE) says they are also more likely to delay going to their GP with symptoms because they are unaware of them.

Early diagnosis

One in three women diagnosed with breast cancer each year are aged 70 and over - and early diagnosis is key.

If the disease is diagnosed at the earliest stage, 93% of women in this age group will live for at least another five years.

But the figure drops to just 13% for those diagnosed at the most advanced stage of the disease.


Breast cancer travel insurance gives patients who have been newly diagnosed or are recovering from successful treatment the freedom to still enjoy holidays with family and friends, whether it is a weekend city break or a week on the beach.

It provides the peace of mind needed to get away, with patients safe in the knowledge that they are covered if something unexpected happens.

'Don't assume you're past it'

PHE is urging older women to visit their doctor straight away if they notice any unusual or persistent changes to their breasts.

Besides a lump in either breast, a change to a nipple or the skin can be an indicator of breast cancer.

A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts can also be a sign, as can a rash on or around a nipple. Other symptoms include a lump or swelling in either armpit, plus dimpling on the skin of breasts.

PHE's Be Clear on Cancer campaign reinforces the message of "don't assume you're past it".

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in England overall, with around 41,200 diagnosed every year.