Medical Alerts for Seniors with Breast Cancer

Medical Alerts for Seniors with Breast Cancer

time icon 6 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


Breast cancer refers to the development of malignant tumors in breast cells. The cancerous cells usually can be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump within the breast. The tumor is deemed cancerous if the cells spread to surrounding tissues or to other areas of the body. Although breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, breast cancer does not only occur in women. Men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer.Recent advances in preventative screenings have increased survival rates significantly.

Breast Cancer Overview

Cancer is the second-most-common cause of death in the United States. Breast cancer is the most invasive cancer in women, threatening the lives of millions each year. Breast cancer is caused by a genetic abnormality, but some lifestyle factors, such as alcohol, make the cancer more likely to develop. A variety of cancer treatment options are available, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. There are more than three million breast cancer survivors in the United States each year.

Fortunately, some lumps found in the breast are not cancerous, however, any woman who detects a lump or notices a change in her breasts should see a doctor immediately.

Breast Cancer Impairment

Early detection increases the likelihood of an improved survival rate for those diagnosed with breast cancer. Unfortunately, the exact cause of breast cancer isn’t fully understood, but it is believed that biological and environmental factors can increase one’s probability of developing breast cancer. Women over age 50 are encouraged to have mammograms every other year. Additionally, women should perform self breast exams monthly. Individuals with breast cancer may notice changes in their breasts. Changes can vary from mild to severe and include:

  • Pain in the armpits or breast that does not go away
  • Skin redness on the breast
  • A rash on or around the nipple
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Changes in the size or shape of the breast
Medical Alert Benefits

Individuals who have breast cancer may seek treatment in the form of radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and biological or hormone therapy. Factors affecting treatment choice will depend on the stage of cancer, medical condition and personal preference of the individual. Cancer patients can face safety dangers in their homes, as treatments can be taxing on the body. Many of these treatments can cause patients to fall or be too weak to call for help. Medical alerts can inform emergency medical personnel of the condition and risk, in an effort to help provide safer and more accurate treatment.

Symptoms of breast cancer:

  • Pain in the armpits or breast
  • Pitting and irritation of the skin of the breast
  • A nipple rash
  • Nipple discharge
  • An inverted nipple
  • Size or shape changes of the breast
  • Flaking of the skin on or around the breast.

Side effects of breast cancer treatment:

  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Blood clots
  • Heart issues
  • Dental issues
  • Memory and cognitive function loss
Safety Without Medical Alerts

Many people living with cancer choose not to obtain medical alert services. While experiencing the side effects of the disease and treatments, they may prefer to maintain safety on their own, or with the help of their families.

  • Tiredness: Decreased physical activity due to cancer treatments may lead to feelings of tiredness and fatigue. A moderate exercise regimen can help to prevent these feelings, and help promote energetic feelings. Even during cancer treatment, it is feasible to continue an exercise regimen and stay active.
  • Headaches: Certain cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause headaches. Prescription or over-the-counter medications may treat headaches and reduce the pain. Other strategies to minimize headaches include getting enough sleep, eating well and reducing stress.
  • Heart issues: Following a diagnosis of breast cancer, one may experience heart problems consisting of irregular heartbeats or chest pains. Managing high blood pressure, exercising, using relaxation techniques, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight are all options to keep the heart healthy during treatment
Breast Cancer Precautions:
  • Live a healthy life: As with any cancer, recovery starts when a healthier lifestyle is adopted. A healthier lifestyle consists of maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active and managing stress.
  • Limit alcohol: Drinking alcohol increases the risks associated with breast cancer. If an individual chooses to drink alcohol, consumption should be limited to no more than one drink per day.
  • Don't smoke: Mounting evidence shows a direct link between smoking and breast cancer risk. Additionally, smoking may also increase complications from breast cancer treatment. Research also shows a direct link between secondhand smoke exposure and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.
Breast Cancer Medical Alerts Conclusion

An individual suffering with cancer may experience one or more life-threatening side effects as a result of the disease or treatment. Medical alert services can ensure that immediate medical treatment arrives in a timely manner during an emergency. Medical alerts can notify first responders of specific medical conditions, medications, and current medical treatments.In some situations during an emergency, the individual in distress may be too weak or disoriented to speak. Medical alerts can provide vital medical information to the paramedics, who may only have seconds to determine a course of action.

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

Shae is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.