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How Old Can You Be To Get Breast Cancer

Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

What Are the Signs 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.

Can Women In Their 30s Develop Breast Cancer

Most cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in older women. The median age for breast cancer diagnosis between 2010 and 2014 was 62 years. While uncommon, it is possible for young women to develop breast cancer.

Fewer than 5% of the total breast cancer cases in the U.S. are diagnosed in women under the age of 40.

According to Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 2017-2018 from the American Cancer Society, a 20-year-old woman has a 0.1% 10-year probability of developing invasive breast cancer. A 30-year-old woman has a 0.5% risk of developing invasive breast cancer in the next 10 years.

These figures represent absolute risk rather than personal risk of developing breast cancer.

Many other factors contribute to your personal risk for breast cancer including weight, lifestyle choices, and having dense breasts. Some women are born with BRCA1 or BRCA 2 gene mutations. Women with a BRCA1 gene mutation are at a 72% risk of developing breast cancer by the age of 80. Women with a BRCA2 mutation have a 69% risk for breast cancer.

What Are The Symptoms

The most common symptoms of breast cancer in men are

  • A lump or swelling in the breast.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Nipple discharge.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.

These symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not cancer. If you have any symptoms or changes, see your doctor right away.

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Breast Cancer Doubling Time

An easier way to envision how fast a breast cancer grows is by looking at the growth rate or volume doubling time. Tumor doubling time is the period of time that it takes for the tumor to double in size.

Since it would be unethical to leave a cancer untreated to see how rapidly it grew, doubling time is estimated in a number of ways. Looking at these estimates, however, doubling times have varied widely from study to study.

A 2019 study estimated doubling time by looking at serial ultrasounds between diagnosis and surgery. It was found that growth varied significantly based on the estrogen receptor status of the breast tumors.

During an average interval of 57 days, 36 percent of tumors did not change in size, while 64 percent grew. Of those tumors that increased in size, the average gain in volume was 34.5 percent.

Tumors that were triple negative had greater increases in volume and shorter doubling times than those that were estrogen receptor positive and HER2 negative tumors.

In a 2016 study that similarly looked at growth based on ultrasound between diagnosis and surgery over a 31 day period, tumors increased from 1.47 centimeters to 1.56 centimeters in diameter. Daily growth rate based on type was:

  • 1.003 percent per day increase for triple negative tumors
  • 0.859 percent per day increase for HER2 positive/estrogen receptor negative tumors
  • 0.208 percent per day increase for estrogen receptor-positive tumors

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Detecting Breast Cancer In Younger Women

CBCC offering free mammograms for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

While theres no way to predict who will get breast cancer, some factors put women at higher risk at a younger age. Breast cancer risk is higher in women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancers at a young age or who have an Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. Having had radiation therapy in the chest is another important risk to know about.

There are some steps you can take, including discussing your family cancer history with your doctor and taking advantage of genetic testing for BRCA and other genetic mutations, if offered, based on your health and family history.

Through research, we are learning more about cancer, genetics, and risk factors, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright. Young women should be aware of their family history and keep their doctors updated over time as it changes.

Also, while guidelines no longer call for monthly at-home breast exams, Dr. Andrejeva-Wright urges women of all ages to be breast aware. She advises women to do a breast self-exam at least quarterly and to learn all they can about their risk factors.

Breast awareness entails knowing your family history of breast and other cancers, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright, It also means knowing any behavioral factors that may increase your risk of developing breast cancer, such as weight gain and alcohol consumption , and doing something about it.

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Why Is Weight A Factor

Women who are overweight or obese have higher levels of estrogen in their bodies. Even though the ovaries stop making estrogen after menopause, the hormone is still stored and produced in fat tissue. Estrogen causes certain types of breast cancer to grow and spread. Work with your doctor to develop a weight loss plan that fits your life, if necessary.

What Is The Average American Womans Risk Of Being Diagnosed With Breast Cancer At Different Ages

Many women are more interested in the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer at specific ages or over specific time periods than in the risk of being diagnosed at some point during their lifetime. Estimates by decade of life are also less affected by changes in incidence and mortality rates than longer-term estimates. The SEER report estimates the risk of developing breast cancer in 10-year age intervals . According to the current report, the risk that a woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer during the next 10 years, starting at the following ages, is as follows:

  • Age 30 . . . . . . 0.49%
  • Age 40 . . . . . . 1.55%
  • Age 50 . . . . . . 2.40%
  • Age 60 . . . . . . 3.54%
  • Age 70 . . . . . . 4.09%

These risks are averages for the whole population. An individual womans breast cancer risk may be higher or lower depending on known factors, as well as on factors that are not yet fully understood. To calculate an individual womans estimated breast cancer risk, health professionals can use the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, which takes into account several known breast cancer risk factors.

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Are Women Under 40 At Risk For Breast Cancer

Younger women generally do not consider themselves to be at risk for breast cancer. However, breast cancer can strike at any age: 5% of breast cancer cases occur in women under 40 years of age. All women should be aware of their personal risk factors for breast cancer.

There are several factors that put a woman at higher risk for developing breast cancer, including:

  • A personal history of breast cancer or a high risk lesion found by biopsy
  • A family history of breast cancer, particularly at an early age
  • A family history that is concerning for a genetic syndrome that may put them at a higher risk for breast cancer
  • History of radiation therapy to the chest
  • A known genetic mutation conferring a high risk for the development of breast cancer
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry

What Causes Lumps In The Breasts Of Girls

Woman diagnosed with breast cancer at early age

Fibroadenomas account for 91 percent of all solid breast masses in girls younger than 19 years old. Other less common breast lumps in teens include cysts, which are noncancerous fluid-filled sacs. Banging or injuring breast tissue, possibly during a fall or while playing sports, can also cause lumps.

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A Family History Of Breast Cancer

Having someone in your family with breast cancer doesnt automatically mean your own risk is increased. For most people, having a relative with breast cancer does not increase their risk.

However, a small number of women and men have an increased risk of developing breast cancer because they have a significant family history.

Your Personal History Of Breast Cancer

If youve been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past, you are more likely to develop a new cancer in the other breast or in another part of the same breast. This is not considered a recurrence but a new breast cancer.

What to do: Follow your cancer teams instructions on monitoring to stay on top of this risk. Ask your doctor whether you should see a genetic counselor.

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Being Overweight Or Obese

Women who are overweight after their menopause have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who are not overweight. Men also have an increased risk of breast cancer if they are overweight or obese. For both men and women, the risk increases as more weight is gained.

Body mass index is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out whether you are a healthy weight. For most adults, an ideal is between 18.5 to 24.9. Being overweight means having a BMI of between 25 and 30. Obesity means being very overweight with a BMI of 30 or higher.

Try to keep a healthy weight by being physically active and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer in women. The risk increases with each extra unit of alcohol per day. The number of units in a drink depends on the size of the drink, and the volume of alcohol.

The latest UK government guidelines advise drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

Personal History Of Breast Disease

Chest Freckles Rare Inflammatory Breast Cancer Symptom

Females who have previously had breast cancer are at risk of developing a second breast cancer, either in the other breast or in a different part of the same breast. This is not the same as the first cancer returning.

Having a personal history of certain noncancerous breast conditions can also increase a persons risk of breast cancer. This can include conditions such as atypical hyperplasia, lobular carcinoma in situ, and ductal carcinoma in situ.

People with a history of breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer should ask their doctors about .

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Can A 12 Year Old Girl Get Breast Cancer

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â itâs anonymous and free!

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HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

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What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk Of Breast Cancer

You can make healthy choices to help lower your breast cancer risk. CDCs Dr. Temeika Fairley explains in this video.

Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk. You cant change some factors, such as getting older or your family history, but you can help lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health in the following ways

Staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer, and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.

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How Quickly Breast Cancer Develops

You may have heard remarks that cancer has been present for five years before it is diagnosed, and this may sometimes be true.

The actual time it takes for breast cancer to grow from a single cancer cell to a cancerous tumor is unknown, as estimates based on doubling time assume that this is constant throughout the duration of tumor growth.

If doubling time were constant, cancer with a doubling time of 200 days would take 20 years to develop into a detectable tumor, and a doubling time of 100 days would take 10 years to be evident on exam.

In contrast, a breast tumor with a doubling time of 20 days would take only 2 years to develop.

Since the majority of studies have found the average doubling time to be between 50 days and 200 days, itâs likely that most breast cancers that are diagnosed began at least 5 years earlier .

How Fast Does Breast Cancer Grow

Men can get breast cancer, too

Studies show that even though breast cancer happens more often now than it did in the past, it doesnt grow any faster than it did decades ago. On average, breast cancers double in size every 180 days, or about every 6 months. Still, the rate of growth for any specific cancer will depend on many factors.

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Take Control Of Your Health And Help Reduce Your Cancer Risk

  • Stay away from all forms of tobacco.
  • Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
  • Get moving with regular physical activity.
  • Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Itâs best not to drink alcohol. If you do drink, have no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men
  • Protect your skin.
  • Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
  • Get regular check-ups and cancer screening tests.

What Is Breast Cancer In Children

Breast cancer occurs when cancer cells grow in breast tissue. The disease is most commonly found in women.

The risk of breast cancer increases with age, with the highest risk between ages 70 and 74 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Cases in children are rarer but not impossible.

Often when children have tumors in their breast tissue, the tumors arent cancerous. Instead, theyre what is known as fibroadenomas.

Fibroadenomas are benign and dont cause symptoms. Children with fibroadenomas still need to be monitored because, rarely, they can grow and become cancerous.

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Causes Of Breast Cancer In Teens

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.

Menstrual And Reproductive History

Pin by Mellissia Franklin

The menstrual cycle increases levels of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone in the body.

Starting menstrual periods at a younger age or going through menopause at a later age raises the bodys exposure to these hormones, which can increase a persons risk of breast cancer.

Those who start their menstrual period before the

to prevent miscarriage. Women who took this drug while pregnant and any children they gave birth to have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.

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Find Out Your Family History

Women with a strong family history of cancer can take special steps to protect themselves, so its important for women to know their family history. You may be at high risk of breast cancer if you have a mother or sister who developed breast or ovarian cancer or if you have multiplefamily members who developed breast, ovarian or prostate cancer. A doctor or genetic counselor can help you understand your family history of the disease.

How Is Breast Cancer In Children Treated

The treatment for cancer of the breast in children varies and will depend on the tumor or type of cancer.

Children with benign fibroadenomas dont usually need treatment. Instead, theyll be carefully monitored for changes that might indicate concern, such as changes in size or characteristics of a mass. In many cases, the fibroadenomas will disappear without any treatment at all.

Children with malignant breast cancer will need treatment. Theyll receive care from a pediatric oncology team.

Treatments normally include:

  • radiation therapy to target and kill the cancer cells and stop the growth of new cancer cells
  • surgery to remove the tumor

New therapies, including targeted drug therapies to attack cancer cells without harming other cells in the body, are an option. Treatment will also depend on the childs overall health and whether other cancers are present.

The pediatric oncology team will help develop the appropriate plan for each child.

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