Breast cancer warning for Wakefield women

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Women aged over 70 are being urged to look out for the signs of breast cancer.

Latest figures show one in three women diagnosed with breast cancer in the Wakefield district is over 70, and the age group accounts for 56 per cent of all deaths from the cancer.

But four in ten women wrongly think women of all ages are equal likely to get breast cancer - when in fact the risk of getting the illness increases with age.

Around 65 women aged over 70 are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Wakefield, but survival rates are lower in that age group than for younger women.

Dr Andrew Furber, the district’s director of public health, said: “I would encourage all women to visit their GP if they notice any symptoms or even a mild change in their breasts.

“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.

“Research shows that women aged over 70 have a low awareness of breast cancer symptoms, other than a lump.

“They’re also more likely to delay presenting to their GP with breast cancer, which could ultimately affect their chance of survival.”