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Can You Get Breast Cancer At 20

What Is A Young Adult Cancer

Can You Get Breast Cancer at any Age?

There is no strict definition of what separates childhood cancers from cancers in young adults, or when exactly a person is no longer a young adult. But for statistics purposes, cancers in young adults are often thought of as those that start between the ages of 20 and 39.

Cancer is not common in young adults, but a wide variety of cancer types can occur in this age group, and treating these cancers can be challenging.

Most cancers occur in older adults. The most common cancers in older people are cancers of the skin, lung, colon and rectum, breast , and prostate . Many cancers in older adults are linked to lifestyle-related risk factors or to other environmental factors. A small portion are strongly influenced by changes in a persons genes that they inherit from their parents.

Cancers that start in children or in teens are much less common. The types of cancers that develop in children and teens are often different from the types that develop in adults. Childhood cancers are often the result of gene changes that take place very early in life, sometimes even before birth. Unlike many cancers in adults, cancers in children and teens are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors.

The types of cancers that occur in young adults are a mix of many of the types that can develop in children, teens, and older adults.

Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer can have several symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.

Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by a doctor.

You should also see a GP if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • a rash on or around your nipple
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

Find out more about the symptoms of breast cancer.

Guidelines For Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer screening guidelines for average risk women have become confusing. One organization recommends that women start getting mammograms every other year at age 50 and another recommends yearly mammograms between age 45 and 55 with every other year mammograms thereafter.;One reason for these differences is disagreement as to whether annual mammography in younger women can reduce the risk of dying of breast cancer. At Johns Hopkins, we continue to recommend annual mammography beginning at age 40 for average risk women,

Extra screening tests are recommended for women with higher than average risk for breast cancer. Current guidelines suggest that if you have more than a 20% risk of developing breast cancer during your lifetime you should consider adding screening breast MRI to your mammogram.;Women who carry mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, or CHEK2 will meet this risk threshold. Other women with family history of breast cancer or a history of a breast biopsy showing high risk changes may meet this criterion as well. You can calculate your breast cancer risk ;online using the Gail model or the BCSC model . Breast specialists in the Johns Hopkins Breast Center have access to additional resources for calculating your breast cancer risk. At Johns Hopkins enhanced surveillance for high risk women consists of a breast exam every 6 months alternating mammograms with MRI scans.

Read Also: How Many People Survive Breast Cancer

What Do Lumps In My Breast Mean

Many conditions can cause lumps in the breast, including cancer. But most breast lumps are caused by other medical conditions. The two most common causes of breast lumps are fibrocystic breast condition and cysts. Fibrocystic condition causes noncancerous changes in the breast that can make them lumpy, tender, and sore. Cysts are small fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the breast.

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An Aggressive Approach To Treatment

Can You Get Breast Cancer At 20 Years Old

Haneys official diagnosis is stage IIA breast cancer, which generally means the tumor is between 2 and 5 centimeters and has spread to fewer than three lymph nodes. In many such cases, doctors can remove the cancer with clear margins via a lumpectomy, which leaves the rest of the breast intact. However, some women opt to have the entire breast or both breasts removed via prophylactic mastectomy.

Preventive mastectomies have become increasingly popular among women facing life with breast cancer. Rates among younger patients in particular have tripled since 2000, according to researchers from the University of Minnesota, in part because of the availability of genetic testing, which women are increasingly using to predict their lifetime risk of cancer. Scientists speculate that many of those who choose preventive mastectomies do so because they test positive for the BRCA gene mutations.

Haney originally planned to have just a lumpectomy, since doctors told her that a mastectomy would have no effect on her survival rate. But the more she thought about it, the more she realized she didnt want to keep thinking about it.

Also Check: Is Breast Cancer Curable In The 3 Stage

Insurance Coverage Of Breast Mri Screening

Insurance coverage for breast MRI screening varies. You may want to check with your insurance company before getting a breast MRI for screening to see if its covered.


  • If you or a loved one needs more information about breast health or breast cancer, call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN . All calls are answered by a trained specialist or oncology social worker in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET. You can also email the helpline at .;
  • We offer an online support community through our closed Facebook Group Komen Breast Cancer group. The Facebook group provides a place where those with a connection to breast cancer can discuss each others experiences and build strong relationships to provide support to each other. Visit Facebook and search for Komen Breast Cancer group to request to join the closed group.

How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treated

Inflammatory breast cancer is generally treated first with systemic chemotherapy to help shrink the tumor, then with surgery to remove the tumor, followed by radiation therapy. This approach to treatment is called a multimodal approach. Studies have found that women with inflammatory breast cancer who are treated with a multimodal approach have better responses to therapy and longer survival. Treatments used in a multimodal approach may include those described below.

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Health Disparities In Young African Americans

In addition to these unique issues, research has shown that young African American women face even greater challenges.

  • African American women under age 35 have rates of breast cancer two times higher than caucasian women under age 35.14
  • African Americans under age 35 die from breast cancer three times as often as caucasian women of the same age.14
  • Researchers believe that access to healthcare and the quality of healthcare available may explain these disparities. But scientists continue to investigate.
  • Research also shows that young African Americans are more likely to get aggressive forms of breast cancer than anyone else.14

Re: Breast Cancer At 19 Years Old


Oh Emilyjane,what a horrible time for you.The up side is that you have found it early on and treatment can start.Your poor mind must be all over the place.Please keep coming on here and rant and rave all you like.There are lots of people ready to support you.I had bc 3 years ago and am still here to tell the tale.good luck sweetheart.You could also try bcpals breast cancer forum for sopport as well.

Rose xx

Also Check: How Can Breast Cancer Be Diagnosed

How Do I Take Care Of My Breasts

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to be breast aware from the age of 20. This means knowing how your breasts normally look and feel and regularly checking for any unusual changes.

Your breasts may feel heavy or tender before your period, so the best time to check is after your period finishes, once any discomfort has settled down. Show your doctor if you have any unusual symptoms that don’t go away after your period, particularly if you can feel a lump, or thickened tissue in your breast, or notice a discharge or any skin or nipple changes. Of course, most changes are not caused by breast cancer but its important to have any new changes properly checked.

Dog Mammary Tumor Removal Recovery

Dogs with mammary tumors are often treated with surgery, after which your pet may need chemotherapy or palliative care. This can be provided through veterinarian-prescribed medicine and alternative remedies. Most of these treatments are aimed at reducing pain.

Recommended recovery aids include:;

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs : NSAIDs are commonly prescribed for the treatment of pain and inflammation. They could also reduce the rate at which cancer cells proliferate .
  • Ivermectin: Ivermectin has shown promising results as an anti-cancer agent, reducing the growth of tumors in dogs .;
  • Cannabidiol : CBD has shown promise in reducing cancer cell proliferation . CBD can also significantly reduce the pain experienced in dogs with benign or malignant mammary tumors during and after treatment .

Recommended Reading: Does Pain In Your Breast Mean Cancer

Understand Your Family History

Talk with your family members about cancer on both sides of your family.

  • If your mother or sister has had breast or ovarian cancer before the age of 50, its recommended you get screened annually with mammogram and ultrasound, from 10 years prior to their age at diagnosis, but not earlier than 30 years of age.
  • Women at potentially high risk of breast cancer should be referred to a breast specialist for advice on appropriate screening
  • High-risk screening may also include breast MRIs.

While the risk of inherited breast cancer is low, talk about it with your doctor. If you are potentially at high risk, you may be eligible for genetic testing with Genetic Health Service NZ. This assessment would require a referral from your doctor.

Small Breast Sizes Are Also At Risk Of Breast Cancer

Can You Get Breast Cancer At 20 Years Old

When it comes to developing breast cancer, size does not matter. A smaller breast does not lead to a smaller risk of developing a tumor. Women’s health expert, Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones speaks with breast imaging specialist Dr. Helene Mrose about what really impacts the chances of developing breast cancer and the importance of getting a cancer screening.

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Just Been Diagnosed With Breast Cancer At 25

Hello all!

Tonight has been a surreal moment after finding a lump in left breast, and ultrasound identifying enlarged lymph nodes, it has sadly been confirmed that i have invasice ductal breast cancer – a tripple negative breast cancer in my case. I am 25 with no real family history, so it is all a bit shocking.;

i however had prepared myself fully for this news, and when they told me, i felt strangely calm and ok with this. i am sure i will have my wobbly moments but i know i will fight this.

I am going to have a CT scan and mammogram as it is in my lymph nodes, to check if the cancer has spread anywhere else . But i will start chemo in jan, and have 6 rounds of it. Halfway through my chemo i will have a follow up, and decide what surgery i will be having/what will be neccssary. Then go from there.

I thought i would write on here, to hear from those experiencing similar things, and see how chemo was for you? and also to see if there is anyone my age on here going through the same thing?

Hi Hannah

So sorry to hear your news. It’s a total shock at any age but to be so young…

I am 41 and was diagnosed on Monday. I am having the same tests as you and feel terrified that they will say it has spread. I also have it in my lymph nodes. But I have been told that they act like sponges soaking up all the bad stuff. So we have got to be positive, although the waiting is excruciating.

Stay brave and I’m sending you lots of positive vibes and a cuddle too.;


Those With No Family History Of Breast Cancer May Still Be At Risk

As common as breast cancer is about one in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime there still are misconceptions about the disease.

I do hear frequently, Im not concerned; I dont have any family history, well neither did I, said 13-year survivor Laura Stottlemyer who is a mammographer at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney, Maryland.

About 75% of those diagnosed actually have no family history, she said.

Having close relatives with breast cancer means youre more likely to develop the disease.

The main things that we do look for are first-degree relatives, Stottlemyer said. And that would include your mother, your sisters or even daughters. And, it can extend to the male side of the families including father, brother or even sons.

Also Check: How To Screen For Breast Cancer

For Women With Breast Cancer Considering Prophylactic Mastectomy

Prophylactic mastectomy is a surgery to remove one or both breasts; prophylactic meaning a preventative measure, done in hopes of reducing your risk of breast cancer. Bilateral prophylactic mastectomies, or double mastectomies, are the removal of both breasts.

For breast cancer patients, the average lifetime risk of developing a new breast cancer in the opposite breast is low, ranging from 4 to 8%, and is even lower in patients who receive chemotherapy or hormone therapy as part of their treatment. It is also important to be aware that while removing the opposite breast reduces the risk of developing a new cancer, it does not change the outcome from the existing cancer. For the majority of women, removing the opposite breast is not necessary. However, there are some women who may be at higher risk, and your doctor can help you determine your level of risk and decide on the right course for you.

Causes Of Breast Cancer In Teens

3 Ways to Decrease Breast Cancer Risk

Doctors arent entirely sure what causes teenage breast cancer because there are so few cases.

In general, though, its thought that childhood cancers develop because of changes in cells and DNA that occur early in life. These changes can even happen while youre still in the womb.

The ACS also notes that childhood cancers arent strongly associated with environmental and lifestyle factors such as smoking or eating certain foods.

However, if you introduce these unhealthy behaviors early in life, they can increase your risk for breast cancer when youre older.

Recommended Reading: Are Breast Cancer Tumors Hard Or Soft

How Is Breast Cancer Treated In Younger Women

Treatment decisions are made based whether or not it has spread beyond the breast, as well as the woman’s general health and personal circumstances.

Treatment options include:

Surgery: either a lumpectomy, which involves removing the tumor and some surrounding tissue, or a mastectomy, which is the removal of a breast.

Radiation is generally used following a lumpectomy, and chemotherapyand hormone therapy often are recommended after surgery to help destroy any remaining cancer cells and prevent a return.

Breast cancer treatment can affect your sexuality, fertility, and pregnancy. If youd like to have children, talk to your doctor it before you begin treatment.

Teen Breast Cancer Outlook

It is estimated by researchers that 80% of teens diagnosed with breast cancer at the ages of 15 to 19 will still be alive 5 years later. Since its extremely rare in teens, doctors may take the approach of wait and see by delaying treatment. Its still important to take appropriate steps in preventing breast cancer like maintaining a healthy weight and diet, avoiding tobacco products, and staying physically active.;

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Is A Preventative Double Mastectomy For Me

A woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer will often say, when discussing her surgical options, Why not just take them both off? These patients often express a desire to never have to worry about my breasts again, particularly those women who have had difficulty with screening procedures in the past or have a history of multiple breast biopsies. Women in whom the primary cancer was initially missed often lose faith in mammography and other screening methods and may feel that the only way to be sure this will not happen to them in the future is to remove both breasts.

Double mastectomies have been featured more in the mainstream media, increasing awareness of this option. Furthermore, the option of immediate reconstruction serves to make this route more appealing than in the past. But what is the real risk of developing a new cancer in the other breast? Do double mastectomies really save lives or improve quality of life? The answer is different for every woman. This article seeks to address these issues and assist individuals in making the most informed decision.


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