Treating Breast Cancer in Seniors
Women over the age of 65 make up 40 percent of patients newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Treating senior patients can be different than treating cancer in younger patients.
Common cancer treatments include:
• Hormone therapy
• Targeted medicinal therapy
Although treatment strategies depend on the type of cancer, all treatments seek to kill unhealthy cells but carry risks. For seniors, the risks can be so significant that treatment can’t be administered as strongly. This is often the case when seniors already have other medical conditions or physical vulnerabilities.
Seniors with breast cancer should ask their doctors questions about treatment to understand the reasons for the course of treatment prescribed and understand the associated risks.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers a free guide to symptoms that senior women may find helpful. You can help a senior download this guide at nationalbreastcancer.org.