Menstrual And Reproductive History
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 age of 12 years and those who go through menopause after the age of 55 years have an increased risk of breast cancer.
Females who have never given birth at full-term and those who had their first full-term pregnancy after the age of 30 years also have a higher risk of breast cancer, according to the NCI.
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 itâs 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.
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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Detecting Breast Cancer In Younger Women
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.
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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Recovering After Surgery Was The Hardest Part
I was keen to get started on my treatment and not wait around any longer. I think the news hit my family harder than me. My mum was with me when I was diagnosed, and my dad came down soon after that.
My treatment ended up being a mixutre of different things. I started on four rounds of AC chemotherapy and Docetaxel, but after my second round I had problems with my liver. It took me a month and a half to recover. My doctor said that we couldnt keep waiting around, so we discussed having surgery alongside the chemotherapy.
Within a week I had a consultation with the surgeon and a mastectomy on my left side with reconstruction. Initially, losing a part of your body feels like a shock, but I knew I needed to have the procedure for my own health.
It was the first time Id ever had surgery and I found the six weeks of recovery the hardest part. I couldnt do much and my mum and my boyfriend had to look after me. Im terrible at sitting in bed and not doing anything I always want to be up and about. Not being able to leave my house was awful.
Prostate Cancer Is Most Likely To Be Diagnosed In Individuals Over 50
Prostate cancer mainly affects peopleover the age of 50, according to Prostate Cancer UK. Most people are diagnosed between 65 and 69 and your risk can increase as you age.
Prostate canceris more likely to develop in people with a family history of prostate or breast cancer, as there is a connection between both types of genes.
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Body Image In Young Women After Breast Cancer
Another hurdle young women face is how breast cancer treatments and their side effects affect body image.
There are incredible demands placed on women in American society about their appearance, says Dr. Silber, and I would not be truthful if I didnt say that a lot of women really struggle not only with treatment but with the aftermath. Its hard because how someone looks can be a part of their self-worth. They may have lost their hair and gained some weight. Their breasts dont look the same. To act like thats not a thing is not fairof course, it matters.
Young women may be looking for a partner at a time when breast cancer treatment causes them to experience body changes that women generally dont encounter until theyre older and postmenopausal: hot flashes and/or weight gain in the abdomenthe meno-pot.
Its different when these changes happen at 20 and 30, says Dr. Silber, who explains that hormonal therapies are used for certain types of breast cancers to control tumor growth and discourage recurrence. But, this life-saving treatment, which a woman will need to keep taking as long as she lives, puts female breast cancer survivors into premature menopausemany years or even decades before their peers.
Breast Cancer In Young Women
Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. While breast cancer diagnosis and treatment are difficult for women of any age, young survivors may find it overwhelming.
CDC is working to increase awareness of breast cancer and improve the health and quality of life of young breast cancer survivors and young women who are at higher risk of getting breast cancer.
The Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women helps CDC develop evidence-based approaches to advance understanding and awareness of breast cancer among young women.Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
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Girl 10 Is The Youngest Person In The Us To Be Diagnosed With Breast Cancer
Hannah Powell-Auslum, of La Mirada, California, has stunned doctors with her breast cancer diagnosis
A girl of ten has become the youngest person in America to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Hannah Powell-Auslam has already undergone a mastectomy on her left breast.
Now she has been told the cancer has spread to a lymph node and she will need further treatment.
Doctors in California said they believe Hannah, who is at least two years away from typical puberty, is the youngest person to suffer from breast cancer.
Hannah said: ‘How could this happen? I am only ten years old. I did not even know what cancer was. I just kept crying and couldn’t stop.
‘I was really shocked. I don’t even think my mum has been checked for breast cancer, so for me to have it, it’s shocking for her.’
Hannah was diagnosed in April after she complained of itching in her left breast and her mother noticed a lump.
Her parents took her to the doctor, and a small portion of the lump was sent away for tests. No one suspected breast cancer.
‘They told me it was not breast cancer, because breast cancer does not happen to children,’ Hannahs mother, Carrie Auslam.
Hannah, pictured with her mother Carrie, has already undergone a mastectomy in her fight against the disease
But the tests revealed otherwise. She was found to have an invasive ductal carcinoma, an adult form of breast cancer. Doctors in La Miranda, California, carried out a mastectomy on May 7 to remove the cancerous tumour.
I Found My Support On Instagram
I was always the youngest person on the ward. I didnt meet anyone around my age while going through my chemotherapy. It was hard as I found it difficult to connect with anyone. I also found that people felt more sorry for me because I was younger.
I started to try and find people like me on social media. A girl on Instagram reached out to me as she was also going through cancer treatment. We ended up creating a WhatsApp group with about 20 other young women in their 20s who had cancer.
Its really helped me feel less alone and it made everything feel more manageable. If I have a problem or if Im worried about something, I message the group. Nine times out of 10, someone will reply saying that theyve felt the same way.
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Breast Cancer And Birth Control
Some research has shown that taking hormonal birth control slightly increases the risk of breast cancer. However, once you stop using hormonal birth control, risk levels eventually return to normal.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center also notes that the overall cancer risk for teens remains low, even though using hormonal birth control minimally increases the risk of developing cancer.
If you use hormonal birth control and youre concerned about your cancer risk, please discuss your options with your doctor before stopping your birth control.
According to research, including a , use of oral contraceptives increases the risk of early onset breast cancer in people under 25 years old who have a BRCA gene mutation.
Doctors should exercise caution before recommending oral contraceptives to someone in this group.
That said, an increased breast cancer risk is just one of many factors to consider before deciding on the right birth control method.
Teens going through the earlier stages of puberty may notice lumps near their nipples. Tenderness and soreness are also possible. These occur during normal breast development and arent a cause of concern on their own.
Your period can also cause tenderness and soreness in the breasts.
Support For Younger Women
Breast cancer affects young women in many ways – from diagnosis and treatment to fertility and concerns for children, family and friends. Breast cancer is less common in younger women than in older women, so being diagnosed at this age can be very isolating.
Our information and support services are dedicated to younger women’s specific needs.
When I started chemotherapy, I didnt really know anyone in the same boat as me. I attended one of Breast Cancer Nows Younger Women Together events in Manchester. I was looking for a few answers to my questions, but most of all wanted to make contact with other women in my situation.
Kreena, Younger Women Together event attendee
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Breast Cancer And Teenage Girls
If youre a teenage girl, you might be worried about your risk of getting breast cancer.
Developing breast cancer when youre a teenager is extremely rare. Its also uncommon in women in their 20s and 30s. The vast majority of breast cancers are diagnosed in women over the age of 50.
There can be a lot of unreliable information and scare stories on the internet, so its important to use reputable websites or talk to your GP if youre worried about any changes to your breasts. You can also call our Helpline free on 0808 800 6000 to speak with one of our experts.
Surgeries For Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is cancer that develops in breast cells. Typically, the cancer forms in either the lobules or the ducts of the breast.
Lobules are the glands that produce milk, and ducts are the pathways that bring the milk from the glands to the nipple. Cancer can also occur in the fatty tissue or the fibrous connective tissue within your breast.
Surgery is the most common treatment for breast cancer besides other treatments such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation, or hormone therapy.
There are several types of breast surgeries that may be used to remove breast cancer. They include
This procedure removes the tumor and some surrounding tissue, leaving the rest of the breast intact.
Lumpectomy is a type of breast-conserving surgery, which entails removing a tumor in a breast and a small amount of normal tissue around it.
In this surgery type, a surgeon removes an entire breast. In a double mastectomy, both breasts are removed.
Sentinel node biopsy
This surgery removes a few of the lymph nodes that receive drainage from the tumor. These lymph nodes will be tested. If they dont have cancer, you may not need additional surgery to remove more lymph nodes.
Axillary lymph node dissection
When lymph nodes removed during a sentinel node biopsy contain cancer cells, the doctor may as well remove additional lymph nodes.
Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy
Your individual anatomy and chest shape.
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I Have Had Breast Cancerwhat Does This Mean For My Daughter
Many women who have had breast cancer are concerned about the risk that this diagnosis carries for their daughters. You can estimate your daughters risk of breast cancer using the information in this brochure to determine her risk category. She may be above the average risk if you were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 50, or if a number of your relatives have developed breast or ovarian cancer.
Your daughter should speak to her doctor in more detail about her individual risk. It is possible that mammograms every year rather than every two years will be recommended. She may need to start having mammograms at an age younger than 40-50, depending on how old you were when your breast cancer was diagnosed. Starting regular breast x-rays 5-10 years before your age at diagnosis is a useful rule of thumb. Finally, if the family history is stronger, the doctor may suggest a referral to a family cancer clinic.
Westmead Breast Cancer Institute 8890 6728
Westmead Hospital Familial Cancer Service 8890 6947
Cancer Council Cancer Helpline 13 11 20
BreastScreen Australia 13 20 50
NSW Genetics Education Program 9926 7324
If you are in a country area, the services above will help you find your closest family cancer clinic.
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.
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