Alternative Treatments

Breast Cancer in Women Over 70: Strategies for Deciding on Treatment

PJ Hamel Health Guide February 01, 2012
  • The vast majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer are older; only 5% of breast cancer cases occur in women under age 40, while fully one-third of all breast cancers are diagnosed in women 70 or older. If you’re at least 70 years old, your chance of developing breast cancer in the next 20 ...

2 Comments
  • Phyllis Johnson
    Health Guide
    Feb. 03, 2012

    PJ, thanks for pulling together the research available on this topic.  You are absolutely right that general health is much more important than chronological age in making these decisions.  Older people also vary in what kinds of treatments they are willing to undergo.  Some older women will take any treatment for the possibility of a few more...

    RHMLucky777

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    PJ, thanks for pulling together the research available on this topic.  You are absolutely right that general health is much more important than chronological age in making these decisions.  Older people also vary in what kinds of treatments they are willing to undergo.  Some older women will take any treatment for the possibility of a few more months.  Others may see their cancer diagnosis as the signal that it is time for them to move on from this earthly life, and will refuse any but the most simple treatments.  The trick for daughters, nieces and other caretakers is to help older women understand the facts about treatments that may help them without making their older loved ones feel pressured into treatments they do not want. 

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Feb. 03, 2012

      You're right, Phyllis - I think oftentimes it's hard for older women to refuse treatment, even if that's what they truly want, due to pressure from their children. As a mom, you want your children to be happy, even more than you want happiness for yourself; it must be hard, at the end of your life, to deny them the one thing they really want - for YOU to keep...

      RHMLucky777

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      You're right, Phyllis - I think oftentimes it's hard for older women to refuse treatment, even if that's what they truly want, due to pressure from their children. As a mom, you want your children to be happy, even more than you want happiness for yourself; it must be hard, at the end of your life, to deny them the one thing they really want - for YOU to keep on living. Thank for your thoughts here, as always - PJH