A NEW campaign launched to remind older women not to assume they are past the age of being affected by breast cancer coincides with figures released for the Merseyside region.
They show that one in three women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the Merseyside area each year are aged 70 or over.
The same age group also accounts for more 56 per cent of all breast cancer deaths in the area annually.
Surprisingly, over half of women in Cheshire and Merseyside wrongly think women of all ages are equally likely to get breast cancer, when in fact a woman’s risk of breast cancer increases with age.
Around 680 women aged 70 and over are diagnosed with breast cancer in Cheshire and Merseyside each year, yet survival rates are lower in this age group compared to younger women.
Lack of awareness of symptoms other than a lump, such as changes in the shape or size of the breast, is believed to be one of the reasons for this, which the campaign aims to change.
The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival – more than 90 per cent of all women diagnosed with the earliest stage survive for at least five years.
This figure is around 15 per cent for women diagnosed at a late stage.
Katie Dee, Cheshire & Merseyside Centre Deputy Director at Public Health England, said: “Research shows that women over 70 have low awareness of breast cancer symptoms, other than a lump. They’re also more likely to delay going to their GP with breast cancer, which could ultimately affect their chance of survival.”