Breast cancer affects one out of every eight American women. Most cases of breast cancer are among women over the age of 50. According to the National Cancer Institute, the median age for women diagnosed with breast cancer is 61.
But there are things women in that age category can do to improve their odds. Careful screening is among the most important, experts say. Women over the age of 50 should also avoid the use of hormone replacement therapy. According to a 2002 study conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative, the risk of breast cancer rose among women using estrogen and progestin.
Diet and exercise are also important in warding off breast cancer. According to a recent study, losing at least 22 pounds after menopause, and keeping those pounds off, lowered a woman’s risk of developing the disease by 57 percent.