Five hundred and eighty-one women over the age of 55 years with a benign disorder of the breast have been studied out of a total of 4,379 consecutive consultations for a perceived mammary problem. breast cancer symptoms in women over 50 include a lump in the breast or underarm. Lumps can usually be detected with a mammogram long before they can be seen or felt. Most lumps are not breast cancer, and benign breast lumps after 50 are common, but they can be cancerous, so if you find one, its important to get it checked out. A swollen, red or inflamed breast read more about breast lumps. Women over 70 are particularly at risk of breast cancer because a womans risk of getting breast cancer increases with age. Dont assume that because youre in your 70s or older that youre in the clear. a breast nodule is basically a lump that forms in a persons breast tissue. The vast majority of breast lumps are not cancerous and are referred to as benign. An mri machine uses a magnet and radio waves to create pictures of the interior of your breast. A breast mri usually is reserved for when the diagnosis is in question. Before a breast mri, a dye might be injected through an intravenous (iv) line in your arm to enhance the appearance of tissues or blood vessels on the mri pictures. rachel freedman, md, mph, a medical oncologist at the susan f. Smith center for womens cancers at dana-farber, explains what older women should know about breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer increases with age, and the age at which a woman enters menopause can also impact her risk. Most breast lumps women feel -- 8 out of 10 -- arent cancer. Its more common for them to be a cyst (a sac) or a fibroadenoma (an abnormal growth thats not cancer ). Breast cancer, like many common cancers, is primarily a disease of older adults. In the united states, the median age at the diagnosis of breast cancer is 61 years, and 41 of breast cancers are diagnosed in women age 65 or older. 1 the median age at death from breast cancer is 68 years, and 57 of deaths from breast cancer occur in those age 65. The breasts contain large amounts of glandular tissue, organized into milk-producing lobules and milk-transporting ducts. A study published in the journal radiology in 2002 indicates that patients with inflammatory breast cancer also experience a thickening of the skin on the breast as well as a stiffening of tissue within the breast, leaving the breast feeling abnormally thick. A mammogram is a screening test for breast cancer which uses special x-ray images to detect abnormal growths or changes in breast tissue.