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How Young Can You Get Breast Cancer

Can Breast Cancer In Younger Women Be Prevented

Can You Get Breast Cancer at any Age?

For women with a family history that is suggestive of a hereditary predisposition for breast cancer, a referral for genetic counseling may be appropriate. Identifying such genetic conditions will allow for a more personalized discussion on screening and preventive treatment options. For example, screening in BRCA mutation carriers begins at the age of 25.

Measures that all women can take to reduce breast cancer risk include:

  • Achieving and maintaining ideal body weight
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Breastfeeding

That being said, if breast cancer does develop, early detection and prompt treatment can significantly increase a woman’s chances of survival. More than 90% of women whose breast cancer is found in an early stage will survive.

Young women should be counseled on breast awareness and to report any breast changes to their healthcare provider. These changes can include:

Signs Of Breast Cancer Include A Lump Or Thickening In Or Near The Breast

These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by breast cancer or by other conditions.

Check with your child’s doctor if your child has any of the following:

  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast.
  • A dimple or puckering in the skin of the breast.
  • A nipple turned inward into the breast.
  • Fluid, other than breast milk, from the nipples, including blood.
  • Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola .
  • Dimples in the breast that look like the skin of an orange, called peaudorange.

Key Points To Remember

  • Mammograms can find some breast cancers early, when the cancer may be more easily treated. Studies show that a small number of women who have mammograms may be less likely to die from breast cancer.
  • The risk for breast cancer goes up as you get older. In general, women younger than 50 are at a lower risk for breast cancer. Because of this, women ages 50 to 70 are more likely to benefit from having mammograms than women who are in their 40s.
  • Mammograms may miss some breast cancers. And some cancers that are found may still be fatal, even with treatment.
  • Mammograms may show an abnormal result when it turns out there wasn’t any cancer . This means you may need more testssuch as another mammogram, a breast ultrasound, or a biopsyto make sure you don’t have cancer. These tests can be harmful and cause a lot of worry.
  • Mammograms may find cancers that will never cause a problem . Some breast cancers never grow or spread and are harmless. You might have this type of cancer, but a mammogram can’t tell whether it’s harmless. So you may get cancer treatmentincluding surgery, radiation, or chemotherapythat you don’t need.
  • If you have health problems that would make it too hard to go through cancer treatment, or if you would not want to have treatment, there may not be a good reason to have a mammogram.

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that is used to look for breast cancer.

There are two types of mammograms.

This decision aid is about screening mammograms.

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How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Different From Other Types Of Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer differs from other types of breast cancer in several ways:

  • IBC doesn’t look like a typical breast cancer. It often does not cause a breast lump, and it might not show up on a mammogram. This makes it harder to diagnose.
  • IBC tends to occur in younger women .
  • African-American women appear to develop IBC more often than white women.
  • IBC is more common among women who are overweight or obese.
  • IBC also tends to be more aggressiveit grows and spreads much more quicklythan more common types of breast cancer.
  • IBC is always at a locally advanced stage when its first diagnosed because the breast cancer cells have grown into the skin.
  • In about 1 of every 3 cases, IBC has already spread to distant parts of the body when it is diagnosed. This makes it harder to treat successfully.
  • Women with IBC tend to have a worse prognosis than women with other common types of breast cancer.

Early Detection Saves Lives

Recognizing Young Women With Breast Cancer

The chance of a woman up to age 85 developing breast cancer is one in eight.

Approximately 17,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in Australia. When breast cancer is detected early, women have a much greater chance of being treated successfully and for most women the cancer will not come back after treatment.

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When Do Experts Advise Starting Mammograms

For women who are at average risk for breast cancer, there are no easy answers for when to start having mammograms. Recommendations for when to start having mammograms vary from province to province. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.

For example:

For women who are at average risk for breast cancer, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care recommends the following guidelines.footnote 1

  • Ages 40 to 49: Regular mammograms are not recommended.
  • Ages 50 to 74: Regular mammograms are recommended.
  • Age 75 and older: You may want to talk to your doctor about whether you need breast cancer screening.

Most experts agree that all women should be informed about the risks and benefits of mammograms and offered screening by age 50.

When to stop having mammograms is another decision. You and your doctor will decide on the right age to stop screening based on your personal preferences and overall heath.

What Causes Breast Cancer In Your 20s And 30s

Breast cancer happens when cells in the breast begin to grow and multiply abnormally. Changes in DNA can cause normal breast cells to become abnormal.

The exact reason why normal cells turn into cancer is unclear, but researchers know that hormones, environmental factors, and genetics each play a role.

Roughly 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to inherited gene mutations. The most well-known are breast cancer gene 1 and breast cancer gene 2 . If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, your doctor may suggest testing your blood for these specific mutations.

Breast cancer in your 20s and 30s has been found to differ biologically in some cases from the cancers found in older women. For example, younger women are more likely to be diagnosed with triple negative and HER2-positive breast cancers than older women.

Here are some statistics about breast cancer in women under 40:

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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.

Should Women Under Age 40 Get Mammograms

Young Women Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer: Young Women Do Get Breast Cancer

In general, regular mammograms arent recommended for women under 40 years of age, in part because breast tissue tends to be dense, making mammograms less effective.The American Cancer Society recommends women ages 40 to 44 should have a choice to start yearly screening mammograms if they would like. Women ages 45 through 54 should have a mammogram each year and those 55 years and over should continue getting mammograms every 1 to 2 years.. Most experts believe the low risk at that age doesnt justify the exposure to radiation or the cost of mammography. But mammograms may be recommended for younger women with a family history of breast cancer and other risk factors.

Continued

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Most Breast Tumors In Children Are Fibroadenomas

Fibroadenomas are benigntumors. Rarely, these tumors become large phyllodes tumors and begin to grow quickly. If a benign tumor begins to grow quickly, a fine-needle aspiration biopsy or an excisional biopsy will be done. The tissues removed during the biopsy will be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer.

Risk Factors You Can Change

  • Not being physically active. Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Being overweight or obese after menopause. Older women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than those at a normal weight.
  • Taking hormones. Some forms of hormone replacement therapy taken during menopause can raise risk for breast cancer when taken for more than five years. Certain oral contraceptives also have been found to raise breast cancer risk.
  • Reproductive history. Having the first pregnancy after age 30, not breastfeeding, and never having a full-term pregnancy can raise breast cancer risk.
  • Drinking alcohol. Studies show that a womans risk for breast cancer increases with the more alcohol she drinks.

Research suggests that other factors such as smoking, being exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer, and changes in other hormones due to night shift working also may increase breast cancer risk.

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Should You Talk To Your Doctor About Breast Cancer

Understanding breast cancer risk factors, knowing your personal risk of developing breast cancer, and recognizing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer can help women seek the care that they need, when they need it.

Take our Breast Cancer Risk Quiz to learn more about your personal risk. The quiz takes less than one minute to complete.

If you are 40 years or older, schedule a mammogram. The Breast Center along with The American Medical Association, The American College of Radiology, the American Cancer Society, the Society of Breast Imaging, and the National Cancer Institute recommend that women start getting a screening mammogram every year starting at age 40.

You dont have to wait until youre 40 to talk to your doctor about breast cancer, though. Meet with the specialists at the Breast Center if you have questions or concerns about breast cancer or breast health. Request an appointment online or call 479-442-6266.

How Young Can You Get Breast Cancer

Bald Woman Cancer Patient In The Hospital Stock Photo ...

Guest over a year ago

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over a year ago

Hi there,

I am really not sure if the age is any related to thiscondition. The fact is that older people can get the breast cancer but thereare unfortunately cases where young girls get breast cancer as well. I alsoknow that you can talk to your mother about this because she might have moreexperience on this matter. The fact is that lumps dont have to be cancerous.However you should check your self at the hospital just to be sure because itis better to be safe than sorry. I hope this helped you in any way and that youdont have breast cancer. Talk to your mother about this.

Best wishes,

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What Are The Benefits Of Having A Mammogram

Mammograms can find some breast cancers early, when the cancer may be more easily treated. Often a mammogram can find cancers that are too small for you or your doctor to feel.

Studies show that a small number of women who have mammograms may be less likely to die from breast cancer.

The risk for breast cancer goes up as you get older. In general, women younger than 50 are at a lower risk for breast cancer. Because of this, women ages 50 to 70 are more likely to benefit from having a mammogram than women who are in their 40s.

At What Age Should I Start Getting Mammograms

Because young women typically have dense breast tissue, a mammogram is not always the best diagnostic tool for them. For this reason, and because dense breasts also make it more difficult to feel a lump, it is crucial that women aged 20 and older become familiar with their breasts and learn how to spot any unusual changes. Current guidelines call for annual screening mammograms to begin at age 45 or 50. If you have a family history of the disease, consult your doctor about when you should start having mammograms and how frequently you should have them. For more information, read our position paper on the new mammography guidelines.

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How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Diagnosed

Inflammatory breast cancer can be difficult to diagnose. Often, there is no lump that can be felt during a physical exam or seen in a screening mammogram. In addition, most women diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer have dense breast tissue, which makes cancer detection in a screening mammogram more difficult. Also, because inflammatory breast cancer is so aggressive, it can arise between scheduled screening mammograms and progress quickly. The symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer may be mistaken for those of mastitis, which is an infection of the breast, or another form of locally advanced breast cancer.

To help prevent delays in diagnosis and in choosing the best course of treatment, an international panel of experts published guidelines on how doctors can diagnose and stage inflammatory breast cancer correctly. Their recommendations are summarized below.

Minimum criteria for a diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer include the following:

  • A rapid onset of erythema , edema , and a peau d’orange appearance and/or abnormal breast warmth, with or without a lump that can be felt.
  • The above-mentioned symptoms have been present for less than 6 months.
  • The erythema covers at least a third of the breast.
  • Initial biopsy samples from the affected breast show invasive carcinoma.

Imaging and staging tests include the following:

When To Start Screening

Why Are So Many Young Women Getting Breast Cancer?

We recommend mammogram screening to start no earlier than age 40 and no later than age 50 for women of average risk for breast cancer, and continue through to at least age 74, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright. Screening mammography should occur at least once every two years. For women whose screening mammograms show they have dense breasts, an extra testa breast ultrasoundis recommended.

Dr. Andrejeva-Wright says it is important to talk with a health care provider about when you should start getting mammograms, based on your unique health profile, and to make an appointment to see your doctor if you notice any unusual breast changes.

Any time a woman feels a breast mass, which does not go away, while doing a breast self-exam at any age, she should get it checked out, says Dr. Silber.

More than half of the time, women detect breast cancers themselves when they notice an unusual breast change. Whenever there is a new mass or lump, tell your doctorit should be evaluated by a clinical physical examination followed by breast imaging, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright. Other signs to be aware of include asymmetry of the breasts and nipple changes such as discharge or peeling skin around the nipple.

Says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright, These symptoms dont mean you have breast cancer, but its a reason to seek an opinion from a medical provider.

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What Clinical Trials Are Available For Women With Inflammatory Breast Cancer

NCI sponsors clinical trials of new treatments for all types of cancer, as well as trials that test better ways to use existing treatments. Participation in clinical trials is an option for many patients with inflammatory breast cancer, and all patients with this disease are encouraged to consider treatment in a clinical trial.

Descriptions of ongoing clinical trials for individuals with inflammatory breast cancer can be accessed by searching NCIs list of cancer clinical trials. NCIs list of cancer clinical trials includes all NCI-supported clinical trials that are taking place across the United States and Canada, including the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. For information about how to search the list, see Help Finding NCI-Supported Clinical Trials.

People interested in taking part in a clinical trial should talk with their doctor. Information about clinical trials is available from NCIs Cancer Information Service at 18004CANCER and in the NCI booklet Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies. Additional information about clinical trials is available online.

Selected References
  • Anderson WF, Schairer C, Chen BE, Hance KW, Levine PH. Epidemiology of inflammatory breast cancer . Breast Diseases 2005 22:9-23.

  • What Is The Average American Womans Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer During Her Lifetime

    Based on current incidence rates, 12.9% of women born in the United States today will develop breast cancer at some time during their lives . This estimate, from the most recent SEER Cancer Statistics Review , is based on breast cancer statistics for the years 2015 through 2017.

    This estimate means that, if the current incidence rate stays the same, a woman born today has about a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life. On the other hand, the chance that she will never have breast cancer is 87.1%, or about 7 in 8.

    For men born in the United States today, the lifetime risk of breast cancer is 0.13%, based on breast cancer statistics for the years 2015 through 2017. This means that a man born today has about a 1 in 800 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during his life.

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