One in three women diagnosed with breast cancer each year are aged 70 and over.
The Founder of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, Pinky Lilani and Journalist, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown are supporting Public Health England’s ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ breast cancer campaign aimed at women aged 70 and over.
The campaign aims to drive awareness of the risk of breast cancer amongst this age group and to increase their knowledge of lesser-known breast cancer symptoms which could include:
* Changes to the skin of your breast
* Changes in the shape or size of your breast or nipple
* Nipple discharge
* Pain in your breast
* Any unusual or persistent changes to your breasts
Debashis Ghosh, Consultant Breast & Oncoplastic Surgeon, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, says:
“I’ve performed surgery on women over the age of 70 and always tell women that breast cancer is more treatable if found early. If breast cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage in women aged 70 and over, 93% will live for at least another five years. This figure drops to just 13% for those diagnosed at the most advanced stage”.
Bhaniben Mistry’s story
Bhaniben Mistry, aged 82, breast cancer survivor from Leicester
Hemant’s mother Bhaniben was diagnosed with breast cancer at 81. Hemant and his wife Sheila know all too well the importance of early diagnosis and are glad that their mum didn’t delay going to see her doctor when she noticed changes to her breast.
“My mum noticed a lump in her left breast and went to see her doctor immediately. She was referred to Glenfield hospital in Leicester for tests and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. We didn’t even know she had gone to the doctor but when we found out we realised it was the best thing she had ever done”.
“When you get told your mother has cancer it doesn’t matter how tough you are, you just go numb. Her mental toughness got her through, I went to pieces but my mum was the opposite, she just said ‘I am going to fight it’. Her mantra was that if you react positively then your body reacts positively”.
Bhaniben was successfully treated; she had the lump removed as well as the lymph nodes near her armpit.