Female celebrities are supporting a new campaign encouraging older women to check their breasts.
Research show around one in three women diagnosed with breast cancer across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes each year are aged 70 or over.
This age group also accounts for more than half of all breast cancer deaths in the area annually.
This comes as Public Health England launches a new national Be Clear on Cancer campaign to remind older women 'don't assume you're past it', and to visit their doctor if they spot any changes in their breasts.
Surprisingly, more than half of women in the South Midlands and Hertfordshire wrongly think women of all ages are equally likely to get breast cancer, when in fact a woman's risk of breast cancer increases with age.
Around 570 women aged 70 and over are diagnosed with breast cancer in the South Midlands and Hertfordshire each year, yet survival rates are lower in this age group compared to younger women.
Lack of awareness of symptoms other than a lump, such as changes in the shape or size of the breast, is believed to be one of the reasons for this, which the campaign aims to change.
The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival - more than 90% of all women diagnosed with the earliest stage survive for at least five years. This figure is around 15% for women diagnosed at a late stage.
The Be Clear on Cancer campaign will see new national adverts running on TV and in the press from today until 16 March.
Actress Barbara Windsor, 76 years of age, has thrown her support behind the campaign. She said:
TV presenter Cilla Black, 70 years of age, is supporting the new campaign. She commented:
You can find out more about breast cancer and how to check your breasts at Cancer Research UK.