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Know the Warning Signs for Breast Cancer

One of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in women is breast cancer. Men can get breast cancer, as well. While the chances of going into remission from breast cancer are higher these days than it used to be, it is still important to recognize the signs of breast cancer early on. When you are taking care of an elderly loved one, you should make sure they do regular checks and see their doctor regularly, too. This will assure any signs of breast cancer are caught early.

Caregiver Ridgewood NJ - Know the Warning Signs for Breast Cancer

Caregiver Ridgewood NJ – Know the Warning Signs for Breast Cancer

Breast, Underarm, or Collar Lump

Does the elderly loved one you are caring for have a new lump in their breast, underarm, or collar area? This could be a signal that they have breast cancer. It is important that every new lump gets evaluated by a doctor, especially the ones that are painless, hard, and that have edges that are irregular. However, it is important to know that lumps can be tender or painful, as well.

Breast Swelling or Thickening

Breast swelling or thickening could also signify breast cancer. The swelling will more than likely be noticed in the armpits or the collarbone. If there is swelling in these areas, cancer might have gone into the lymph nodes. If you are taking care of a senior citizen, have them check for swelling or thickening of these tissues. You can have them get a doctor’s appointments to check for this type of swelling, too.

Nipple Changes

With breast cancer, it is likely that your elderly loved one would be experiencing some sort of nipple changes. There might be changes in one or both of the nipples. Your elderly loved one might have bloody discharge from their nipple. The nipple may also be turned inward. In addition, their nipple could be thicker, scaly, or red, as well.

Pain in the Shoulder, Upper Back, or Breast

While it is normal for some people to have a bit of pain in these areas, it isn’t a good thing for others. In fact, if the pain is lasting a few weeks or more, it should definitely be checked out by a doctor. If your elderly loved one is saying that it feels like they have pulled a muscle in these areas and the pain won’t let up after a few weeks, have them see their doctor right away.

No Symptoms

Sometimes there aren’t any symptoms noticed at all. This is why it is extremely important to get regular mammograms. Women who are 40 to 44 should get a breast exam at least once every 2 years. Women who are aged 45 to 54 should get a breast exam and mammogram yearly. The women who are 55 or older should get mammograms every year, as well.

These are some of the most common warning signs for breast cancer. When taking care of your elderly loved one, have their caregivers or yourself get them to the doctor for regular breast exams and mammograms.

Sources:  https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/symptoms.htm
https://medlineplus.gov/breastcancer.html

If you or a senior family member are considering hiring Caregiver Services in Ridgewood NJ, please contact the caring staff at Caring Solutions Home Care LLC. In-home senior care servicing Bergen & Passaic Counties. Call today at (973) 427-3553.

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Pamela DelColle, RN, CCRN

Founder/Director of Nursing at Caring Solutions Home Care LLC
Dementia Care Provider-Member of The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

I started my career as an ICU nurse over 30 years ago. I have functioned as an educator and preceptor mentoring new nurses in the clinical arena. I have sat on many Patient Care committees authoring a variety of patient care protocols.

In 2007, I saw an opportunity to improve the delivery of patient care services in the home and founded Caring Solutions Home Care. Over the last 10 years I have functioned as the Director of Nursing overseeing all client care, administrative and personnel operations.
Pamela DelColle, RN, CCRN

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