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Women Unaware of When Breast Cancer Risk is Greatest

about their breast cancer risk. Unfortunately the reality is very different from what most women believe. Breast cancer risk increases with age and is highest in women over 80."

Julietta Patnick, director of the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes and co-author of the study, said: "Confusion over who is most at risk of breast cancer is a real concern. Less than one per cent of those surveyed were aware that women over 80 are most at risk of developing breast cancer. Women need to understand that their risk increases with age. If older women wrongly think they are at a lower risk, they may be less likely to attend screening appointments or even report breast cancer symptoms.

"The breast screening programme offers regular screening to all women over 50 and I would encourage all those eligible to make an informed choice about attending."

Professor John Toy, Cancer Research UKs medical director, said: "As the age of a woman increases so, too, her risk of breast cancer increases. These results show a potentially harmful lack of knowledge. This confusion needs to be cleared up so that the older woman doesnt wrongly assume she is 'growing out' of potential trouble."

"Through our Reduce the Risk campaign, Cancer Research UK is working hard to raise the awareness of breast cancer risk and to encourage, in particular, older women to attend screening."


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