As people in Western societies are living longer, it is expected that in the coming years there will be an increase in the proportion of older women with breast cancer – the largest contributor to death from cancer in women worldwide.

Older women with breast cancer are at increased risk for adverse outcomes and side effects from breast cancer treatment, and studies have shown that risk of death from breast cancer increases with age.

Although doctors have assumed that screening programs could diagnose breast cancer at an earlier stage in older women and therefore improve prognosis, no strong evidence exists for the benefits of this.

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