Tens of thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK. Because the risk of developing the disease increases with age, more than one-third of cases are diagnosed in women aged 70 years and over. In addition, improvements in treatment have meant that many women, diagnosed before the age of 70, are surviving into older age. Despite this, the breast cancer experiences of women in the age group of 70 years plus have been largely neglected , alongside their information and support needs and preferences. So whilst it is recognised that women in this age group are less likely to use existing information and support opportunities , it is not known why this is so.
This presentation will report on a study that is using one-to-one interviews and focus groups to explore the breast cancer experiences of women aged 70 years and over, particularly when other health conditions are also present, and their information and support needs and preferences. Preliminary findings will be offered, alongside some developing recommendations for information and support mechanisms that are informed by, and better meet, the needs and preferences of women with breast cancer aged 70 years and over.