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What Is The Average Age To Get Breast Cancer

Patient Characteristics With Reference To Age At Diagnosis

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Clinical factors and tumor characteristics of the six age groups are shown in Table . Distant metastasis at the time of diagnosis was more common with increasing age. There was considerably more missing data for the oldest age category concerning axillary lymph node status. It was more common for older women to have been regarded as unsuitable for surgery, and it was also less common for these women to have undergone an axillary dissection.

Table 1 Distribution of age at diagnosis in relation to patient characteristics, tumor characteristics, and surgical treatment

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Breast Cancer Diagnosis And Survival Rates Over The Last 27 Years

The incidence of breast cancer has risen dramatically over the last 27 years, rising from about 9,827 new cases a year in 1994, to over 20,000 new cases a year in 2021. As a result, 1 in 7 women will now be diagnosed in their lifetime.

From NBCFs inception in 1994, five-year relative survival for breast cancer improved from 76% to 91%. This improvement is a result of research. But despite the improved survival rate, this year around 9 Australians will lose their lives to breast cancer every day. In 2021, there was over 3,000 deaths from breast cancer, including 36 males and 3,102 females.

Unfortunately, despite improved survival rates, the number of deaths from breast cancer each year is still rising. This is being driven by the increase in diagnoses.

Unique Challenges For Young Adults

Breast cancer in young adults is just different. We are at a different phase of our lives and encounter unique challenges compared to older persons. These challenges may significantly impact our quality and length of life. Some of the unique challenges and issues young adults face:

  • The possibility of early menopause and sexual dysfunction brought on by breast cancer treatment
  • Fertility issues, because breast cancer treatment can affect a womanâs ability and plans to have children
  • Many young women are raising small children while enduring treatment and subsequent side effects
  • Young breast cancer survivors have a higher prevalence of psychosocial issues such as anxiety and depression13
  • Questions about pregnancy after diagnosis
  • Heightened concerns about body image, especially after breast cancer-related surgery and treatment
  • Whether married or single, intimacy issues may arise for women diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Challenges to financial stability due to workplace issues, lack of sufficient health insurance and the cost of cancer care

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What Is Different About Breast Cancer In Younger Women

  • Diagnosing breast cancer in younger women is more difficult because their breast tissue is generally denser than the breast tissue in older women, and routine screening is not recommended.
  • Breast cancer in younger women may be more aggressive and less likely to respond to treatment.
  • Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age are more likely to have genetic mutations predisposing them to breast and other cancers.
  • Younger women who have breast cancer may ignore the warning signssuch as a breast lump or unusual dischargebecause they believe they are too young to get breast cancer. This can lead to a delay in diagnosis and poorer outcomes.
  • Some healthcare providers may also dismiss breast lumps or other symptoms in young women or adopt a “wait and see” approach.
  • Breast cancer poses additional challenges for younger women as it can involve issues concerning sexuality, fertility, and pregnancy after breast cancer treatment.

Ovarian Cancer Is Usually Diagnosed In Post

The risk of developing ovarian cancer increases with age, according to the American Cancer Society. Ovarian canceris rare in people under 40 and it usually develops after the onset of menopause. Half of all people with ovarian cancer are diagnosed after the age of 63.

Some of therisk factors for ovarian cancer include using fertility treatments, being overweight, smoking, and having had breast cancer.

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Midlife As A Critical Period In The Life Course For Cancer Risk And Prevention

Cancer development is a complex process that occurs over a span of many years. A life course approach,, is particularly well suited to understanding the contributions of various cancer risk factors over a personâs life span. As Rando observed, the biologic processes of aging are mysterious and highly variable. Aging is influenced by genetically determined processes but also can be modified by environmental influences.,, For example, cigarette smoke is thought to accelerate the aging process.

When applied to cancer research, the life course approach has been used to examine the influence of prenatal and early life events on cancer development in adulthood., A recent federal, interagency report on breast cancer research, for example, highlighted evidence that exposures that cause molecular and cellular changes in mammary tissue during puberty or earlier can influence breast cancer development many years later. The finding that breast cancer incidence rates fell after the decline in the use of hormone replacement therapy at menopause suggests that critical periods for breast cancer development also exist later in life. In addition, opportunities may exist to intervene at midlife to alter or reverse disease processes that were initiated at earlier life stages.

Cervical Cancer Is Most Often Diagnosed In Individuals Between 35 And 44

The American Cancer Society reports that cervical cancer is most frequently diagnosed in women between the age of 35 and 44. Although it’s possible, it is rarely diagnosed in individuals in their 20s.

Cervical cancer affects the cervix, which is the narrow opening at the bottom of the uterus. It’s one of the most common cancers affecting women in the US. The National Institutes of Health reported thatthe five-year survival rate of people diagnosed with cervical cancer is about 75%.

According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, around two out of three lung cancer cases are diagnosed in peopleover the age of 65. The average age of someone diagnosed with lung cancer is 71 and the majority of cases are diagnosed after the age of 45.

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Benefits Of Mammographic Screening

The ACS systematic review also examined the effect of screening mammography on life expectancy. Although the review concluded that there was high-quality evidence that mammographic screening increases life expectancy by decreasing breast cancer mortality, the authors were not able to estimate the size of the increase 23.

Survival Rates By Race

What puts you at risk of getting breast cancer?

White women in the United States are most likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Between 2013 and 2017, 131.3 per 100,000 white women were diagnosed with the disease.

There is, however, variation within that group: non-Hispanic white women were far more likely to have been diagnosed than Hispanic white women.

Black women are the second most likely group to get breast cancer , followed by Asian and Pacific Island women , Hispanic , and American Indian and Alaska Native women .

Survival rates also vary according to race and ethnicity.

From 2013 to 2017, Asian and Pacific Islander women had the lowest death rate, at 11.4 per 100,000 women. This was followed by Hispanic women , American Indian and Alaska Native women , white women , and non-Hispanic white women .

Black women had the highest death rate, at 27.6 per 100,000 women, despite being the second most likely group to get breast cancer.

This could possibly be due to a lack of access to care. seem to affect disparity in breast cancer mortality. These include:

  • poverty

The most important factor that affects breast cancer survival is whether the cancer has metastasized, or spread to other body organs. The earlier the diagnosis, the greater the chance of treating breast cancer before it advances.

Some types of breast cancer are more aggressive than others. Five-year survival rates tend to be lower for women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer .

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Can A Woman With Breast Cancer Get Pregnant

For young women, a breast cancer diagnosis also creates uncertainty about having a family. Because cancer treatments can affect ovarian function, specialists with expertise in working with women with cancer can help preserve fertility before treatment begins by freezing eggs or embryos, through a process called cryopreservation. In Connecticut, insurance carriers cover the cost of cryopreservation for men and women under the age of 40 who have cancer.

It also may happen that a young woman is already pregnant when diagnosed with breast cancer, which requires careful conversations between the provider and patient.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer we see in pregnant women, says Dr. Silber. Because pregnancy brings about a variety of changes in the breastand pregnant women arent getting mammogramsit may make the disease harder to diagnose, she notes, but it doesnt mean the prognosis is worse.

In such cases, she explains, Our goal is to do what we can to treat the cancer and protect the pregnancy, adding that there are some types of chemotherapy treatments that can be given during pregnancy to treat breast cancer.

Age Distributions Of Breast Cancer Diagnosis And Mortality By Race And Ethnicity In Us Women

Department of Radiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado

Corresponding Author: R. Edward Hendrick, PhD, Department of Radiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, 12700 E 19th Ave, Mail Stop C278, Aurora, CO 80045 .

Sharp F. Malak MD, MPH

Associated Radiologists, Ltd, St. Bernards Healthcare, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Department of Radiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado

Corresponding Author: R. Edward Hendrick, PhD, Department of Radiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, 12700 E 19th Ave, Mail Stop C278, Aurora, CO 80045 .

Sharp F. Malak MD, MPH

Associated Radiologists, Ltd, St. Bernards Healthcare, Jonesboro, Arkansas

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Clinical Considerations And Recommendations

How should individual breast cancer risk be assessed?

Health care providers periodically should assess breast cancer risk by reviewing the patients history. Breast cancer risk assessment is based on a combination of the various factors that can affect risk Box 1610111213. Initial assessment should elicit information about reproductive risk factors, results of prior biopsies, ionizing radiation exposure, and family history of cancer. Health care providers should identify cases of breast, ovarian, colon, prostate, pancreatic, and other types of germline mutation-associated cancer in first-degree, second-degree, and possibly third-degree relatives as well as the age of diagnosis. Women with a potentially increased risk of breast cancer based on initial history should have further risk assessment. Assessments can be conducted with one of the validated assessment tools available online, such as the Gail, BRCAPRO, Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm, International Breast Cancer Intervention Studies , or the Claus model 34.

Is screening breast self-examination recommended in women at average risk of breast cancer, and what should women do if they notice a change in one of their breasts?

Should practitioners perform routine screening clinical breast examinations in average-risk women?

When should screening mammography begin in average-risk women?

How frequently should screening mammography be performed in average-risk women?

All Cancers Combined Incidence By Age

Incidence rates are strongly related to age for all cancers combined, with the highest incidence rates being in older people. In the UK in 2016-2018, on average each year more than a third of new cases were in people aged 75 and over.

Age-specific incidence rates rise steeply from around age 55-59. The highest rates are in the 85 to 89 age group for females and males.

Incidence rates are significantly higher in females than males in the younger age groups and significantly lower in females than males in the older age groups.The gap is widest at age 40 to 44, when the age-specific incidence rate is 2.1 times higher in females than males.

All Cancers , Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016-2018

Children aged 0-14, and young people aged 15-24, each account for less than one per cent of all new cancer cases in the UK . Adults aged 25-49 contribute around a tenth of all new cancer cases, with almost twice as many cases in females as males in this age group. Adults aged 50-74 account for more than half of all new cancer cases, and elderly people aged 75+ account for more than a third , with slightly fewer cases in females than males in both age groups. There are more people aged 50-74 than aged 75+ in the population overall, hence the number of cancer cases is higher in 50-74s, but incidence rates are higher in 75+s.

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Breast Cancer Risk Increases Over Time

The older a person gets, the more likely they are to develop breast cancer. In general, children and teens dont get breast cancer. About 90 percent of breast cancer diagnoses occur in women aged 45 or older. Additionally, about half of women with breast cancer are at least 63 years old when they are diagnosed.

According to the NCI, during each decade of life, a womans breast cancer risk increases.

  • A 30-year-old woman has a 0.49 percent chance of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years.
  • A 40-year-old woman has a 1.55 percent chance of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years.
  • A 50-year-old woman has a 2.4 percent chance of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years.
  • A 60-year-old woman has a 3.54 percent chance of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years.
  • A 70-year-old woman has a 4.09 percent chance of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years.

These numbers account for all women across the United States. Many other risk factors affect whether any individual will develop breast cancer, so each persons risk may be higher or lower than what these numbers show. It is also unclear whether these figures are affected by a difference in access to health care resources between individuals.

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Family History Of Breast Cancer

Having a family history of breast cancer increases a persons risk of developing the condition themselves.

A females risk if they have two first degree relatives who have had it. First degree relatives are parents, siblings, and children and can include males.

The recommend genetic testing for females with a family history of breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer.

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Where Do These Numbers Come From

The American Cancer Society relies on information from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute , to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer.

The SEER database tracks 5-year relative survival rates for breast cancer in the United States, based on how far the cancer has spread. The SEER database, however, does not group cancers by AJCC TNM stages . Instead, it groups cancers into localized, regional, and distant stages:

  • Localized: There is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the breast.
  • Regional: The cancer has spread outside the breast to nearby structures or lymph nodes.
  • Distant: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body such as the lungs, liver or bones.

What Causes Breast Cancer In Your 20s And 30s

HEALTH FOCUS: How to prevent breast cancer

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 cancerous cells 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.

In some cases, breast cancer in your 20s and 30s has been found to differ biologically from the cancers found in older women.

For example, younger women are more likely to receive a diagnosis of triple-negative and HER2-positive breast cancers than older women.

more likely in adolescent and young women than in older women who have a diagnosis of early stage breast cancer.

Metastatic breast cancer means that the cancer has advanced to stage 4. It has moved beyond the breast tissue into other areas of the body, such as the bones or the brain.

Survival rates are lower for cancer that has metastasized to other parts of the body.

According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate for women with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is 28 percent for all ages.

However, some signs and symptoms of breast cancer may

  • changes in the skin

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When To Start Screening

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.