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Why Are So Many Young Women Getting Breast Cancer

How Has The Risk Of Being Diagnosed With Breast Cancer Changed In Recent Years

Why Are So Many Young Women Getting Breast Cancer?

For a woman born in the 1970s in the United States, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, based on breast cancer statistics from that time, was just under 10% .

The last five annual SEER Cancer Statistics Review reports show the following estimates of lifetime risk of breast cancer, all very close to a lifetime risk of 1 in 8:

  • 12.83%, based on statistics for 2014 through 2016
  • 12.44%, based on statistics for 2013 through 2015
  • 12.41%, based on statistics for 2012 through 2014
  • 12.43%, based on statistics for 2011 through 2013
  • 12.32%, based on statistics for 2010 through 2012

SEER statisticians expect some variability from year to year. Slight changes may be explained by a variety of factors, including minor changes in risk factor levels in the population, slight changes in breast cancer screening rates, or just random variability inherent in the data.

Selected Reference
  • Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al. . SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 19752017, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, , based on November 2019 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2020.

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    • Reviewed:December 16, 2020

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    Fact : There Is A Substantial Causality Case For An Induced Abortionbreast Cancer Link

    As discussed in Fact 8, multiple research groups from around the world have found an association between IA and breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute has identified 70 published scientific reports on this topic, dating back to the 1957 Japanese study . All total, 58 of these 74 international studies show a significant association between abortion and breast cancer, including 12 of the last 13 reports since 2008 .

    As early as 1996, a review and meta-analysis by Brind et al. showed a 30 percent increase in breast cancer risk after the first pregnancy, but a 1.5-fold, or 50 percent increased risk before the first pregnancy. Both findings were statistically significant .

    Recently, Oxford University researcher, Patrick Carroll, conducted another important epidemiological investigation on the Western epidemic of breast cancer. This multiple linear regression analysis, and multi-national 2007 study, examined a myriad of suspected variables. The conclusion was that abortion is so powerfully linked to breast cancer risk, that it is the single best predictor of the occurrence of breast cancer in all eight European countries studied. Carroll found that future breast cancer rates could be predicted with near 100 percent accuracy by using a nation’s abortion rates, and its fertility rates .

    Breast Changes To Watch

    Watch for changes to your breasts, and if you notice any of the following, see your doctor:

    • A lump in or near your breast or under your arm
    • Changes in the size or shape of your breast
    • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
    • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple
    • Skin redness, soreness, rash
    • Swelling
    • Nipple discharge

    Normal breast tissue may be lumpy, which is why it is important to know how your breasts normally feel. Most lumps are not cancer. Many women choose to perform breast self-exams so they will know if a new lump appears or an existing lump changes size. However, breast self-exams are not a substitute for mammograms.

    These changes may not necessarily indicate that you have breast cancer, but they could and should be evaluated.

    Read Also: Breast Cancer Weight Gain Before Diagnosis

    What Can You Do

    Get Screened Regularly.

    The main reason women die from breast cancer is a lack of regular screening. Our LBCHP program provides no-cost mammograms to Louisiana women who qualify based on age, income and insurance status. LBCHP offers screening for:

    • Women, ages 40-64, at regular intervals
    • Any woman, of any age, experiencing breast cancer symptoms or who has a strong family history of the disease

    Even women with insurance who are not able to afford all screening costs , need transportation assistance, etc. may also get help through LBCHP .

    General Screening Recommendations:

    Health experts have slightly different guidelines as to what age and how often women should get screened. For example:

    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommend women 50-74 have a screening mammogram every two years.

    Make Healthy Choices.

    You cant help getting older and cant change your family history, but you can lower your risk of cancer by taking care of your health. Things like getting enough exercise and maintaining a healthy weight will reduce your risk. There are many, everyday choices you can make to help lower your risk and improve your chances of surviving if you do develop cancer. Learn more on our Cancer Risk Factors page.

    Do Young Women Have Worse Breast Cancer Outcomes It Seems To Depend On The Cancers Characteristics

    A Doctor Answers The Question Why Are So Many Young Women ...

    Breast cancer in women age 40 or younger isnt common — about 6% to 7% of all breast cancers in the United States are diagnosed in women in this age group. Still, breast cancer diagnosed in younger women is likely to be more aggressive or metastatic at diagnosis, and women in this age group have worse survival compared to older women.

    Researchers wondered if these statistics were really true for all diagnosed younger women, or if outcomes varied based on the characteristics of the breast cancer.

    A study suggests that younger women diagnosed with luminal A breast cancer have worse survival compared to older women diagnosed with the same subtype.

    The research was published online on August 1, 2016 by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read the abstract of Subtype-Dependent Relationship Between Young Age at Diagnosis and Breast Cancer Survival.

    Eric Winer, M.D., director of the breast oncology center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and member of the Professional Advisory Board, is one of the studys authors.

    Luminal A and luminal B breast cancer are two of the four main molecular subtypes of breast cancer:

    Read Also: Does Breast Tissue Grow Back After Lumpectomy

    Breast Cancer Statistics In Young Adults

    Although breast cancer in young adults is rare, more than 250,000 living in the United States today were diagnosed under age 40. In young adults, breast cancer tends to be diagnosed in its later stages. It also tends to be more aggressive. Young adults have a higher mortality rate. As well as a higher risk of metastatic recurrence .

    Fact : There Is A Breast Cancer Susceptibility Window Before The First Full Term Pregnancy

    Breast cancer surgeon, Angela Lanfranchi, MD, in collaboration with the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, has contributed to a much greater understanding of normal breast development, as well as the pathophysiological mechanisms that lead to breast cancer.

    A distinctive feature of the female breast is that this organ is not fully developed at birth. There is, of course, breast enlargement in girls at puberty, and this tissue is primarily stromal, or support tissue. However, between puberty and the FFTP, there is a susceptibility windowa time when the breast is most susceptible to forming cancer . This susceptibility occurs because the breast is composed primarily of Type 1 and Type 2 lobules.

    Under the microscope, Type 1 and Type 2 lobules appear as twigs of a tree. Type 3 and Type 4 appear more like a cluster of grapes. Type 1 lobules account for 85 percent of all breast cancers, and Type 2 account for 12 percent of these cancers. Type 1 and Type 2 lobules have a higher density of hormone receptors, making them more susceptible to hormone stimulation that can result in cancer mutations.

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    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.

    How Does Your Age Affect Treatment

    Breast cancer remains threat for older women

    Your doctor will help you choose the most effective breast cancer treatment based on the type, stage, and grade of your tumor. Treatments are generally the same for women of all ages, but a few exceptions exist.

    Drugs called aromatase inhibitors arent recommended for women who havent yet gone through menopause. These drugs treat estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by blocking the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase converts the hormone androgen into estrogen. Without estrogen, the tumor cant grow. Women who havent gone through menopause still produce estrogen in their ovaries. This means that aromatase inhibitors will only work if you also take medicine to stop your ovaries from making estrogen.

    If medically feasible, you may opt for a more conservative surgery, such as a lumpectomy. This removes the tumor but keeps the breast intact. Chemotherapy, radiation, or both are usually necessary after a lumpectomy. If you need to have a mastectomy, which removes the whole breast, you can ask your surgeon to preserve your nipple. If you plan to have plastic surgery afterward to reconstruct your breast, this can enable your plastic surgeon to create a more natural looking breast.

    Recommended Reading: How Do Doctors Treat Breast Cancer

    Know Your Medical History

    It is important to know your family history and share it with your doctor. Women with a first-degree relative with breast cancer have nearly twice the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer as a woman who has no family history. Tell your doctor which family member had breast cancer or other breast diseases, and how old they were when diagnosed.

    What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

    Being a woman and getting older are the main risk factors for breast cancer.

    Studies have shown that your risk for breast cancer is due to a combination of factors. The main factors that influence your risk include being a woman and getting older. Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older.

    Some women will get breast cancer even without any other risk factors that they know of. Having a risk factor does not mean you will get the disease, and not all risk factors have the same effect. Most women have some risk factors, but most women do not get breast cancer. If you have breast cancer risk factors, talk with your doctor about ways you can lower your risk and about screening for breast cancer.

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    Should Women Under Age 40 Have Regular Mammograms

    In general, regular screening mammograms in the absence of breast symptoms are not recommended for women under 40 years old, in part, because breast tissue tends to be more dense in young women, making mammograms less effective as a screening tool. In addition, most experts believe the low risk of developing breast cancer at a young age does not justify the radiation exposure of mammography. However, screening mammograms may be recommended for younger women with a family history of breast cancer and other risk factors.

    Why Are Older Women More Vulnerable To Breast Cancer New Clues

    Young Black Women Are Dying From Breast Cancer At Earlier ...
    DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
    More insights into why older women are more susceptible to breast cancer has been gained by researchers. They found that as women age, the cells responsible for maintaining healthy breast tissue stop responding to their immediate surroundings, including mechanical cues that should prompt them to suppress nearby tumors.

    Scientists from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have gained more insights into why older women are more susceptible to breast cancer. They found that as women age, the cells responsible for maintaining healthy breast tissue stop responding to their immediate surroundings, including mechanical cues that should prompt them to suppress nearby tumors.

    Their work sheds light on how aging alters cellular and molecular functions, and how these changes contribute to the prevalence of breast cancer in older women. The disease is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 55 to 64, according to the National Cancer Institute.

    The research appears online June 5 in the journal Cell Reports. It was led by Mark LaBarge of Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division, with help from first author Fanny Pelissier and other Berkeley Lab scientists, and researchers from UC Berkeley and Norway’s University of Bergen.

    “We think this is a defense mechanism. The epithelia tissue recognizes that stiffness isn’t good and produces tumor suppressants,” says LaBarge.

    Story Source:

    Journal Reference:

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    % Of This Type Of Cancer Occurs In Women Over The Age Of 50

    Genetics and family history may determine the likelihood of getting the Big C. If a close relative has it, the risk of you contracting it is high. That said, breast cancers are common, and a majority of them are not hereditary. The possibility of breast cancer may arise if you had benign breast lumps.

    They include atypical ductal hyperplasia and lobular carcinoma. There is a likelihood of them metastasizing if they develop again. Further, women with high levels of estrogen are more likely than their peers to have breast tumors. If you had your periods earlier than other women your age, be alert to this.

    How heavy you are may decide whether you get breast cancer or not. Obese menopausal women are more likely than their slimmer peers to develop growths in their mammary glands. They tend to produce higher levels of estrogen.

    An interesting point to note is that taller women are more prone to breast cancer than shorter ones, though experts still need to establish the reason for this. Women who consume more alcohol have a higher risk than others of developing breast cancer.

    If you want to kick cancer to the curb, take no more than one alcoholic beverage per day.

    Breast cancer raises its ugly head because of increased levels of estrogen and progesterone in the female body.

    What’s The Best Way For Younger Women To Screen For Breast Cancer

    The American Cancer Society recommends that all women know how their breasts look and feel and report any changes to their doctor. The ACS states that research has not shown a clear benefit of performing regular breast self-exams. Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of breast self-exam.

    Regular breast exams done at least every 3 years by your doctor are recommended for women beginning at age 20. Expert groups dont all agree when women should start getting mammograms and you should discuss with your doctor whats right for you. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening every 2 years from ages 50 through 74 and also that the decision to start yearly screening mammograms before age 50 should be an individual one..

    Talk to your doctor about when you should begin to have mammograms. For younger women, digital mammography may be an alternate to a standard mammogram. Digital mammography is better able to see abnormalities in dense breast tissue.

    Also Check: Is Breast Cancer Curable

    Is Breast Cancer On The Rise In Young Women

    A recent study shows an increase in diagnoses of breast cancer in young women. Is some external factor increasing the rate of cancer, or are we just diagnosing more cases? Women’s health expert Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones dives deep into the study and shares her findings.

    Are young women getting more breast cancer? This is Dr. Kirtly Jones from Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Utah Health. And this is “The Seven Domains of Women’s Health” on The Scope.

    For women with an extended web of family and friends, it seems as if we are hearing about more young women getting breast cancer. Is that about our social networks being more easily accessed? Facebook, our news links, are friends’ friends becoming our friends? Is it about early and more accurate screening picking up more cancers? Is it in the water? Let’s think about what we know and what we think we know. Well, let’s start off with who do we think of as young?

    Well, young, of course, is anyone who hasn’t lived as long as you have. However, in the world of breast cancer, young women are under 40. Although breast cancer in young women is uncommon, it’s the most common malignant tumor in young women, 15 to 39. The lifetime, well, not all your life but life up to 40, risk of getting breast cancer was 1 in 173 when it was reported in 2009. Now, that’s compared to the whole lifetime risk. Risk of getting breast cancer at any time of your life before you die is about 1 in 8.

    Cosmetic Implants And Breast Cancer Survival

    Best preventative medicine for breast cancer starts with being proactive

    A 2013 review found that women with cosmetic breast implants who received a diagnosis of breast cancer also had a higher risk of dying from the disease.

    This could be due to the implants masking cancer during screening or because the implants bring about changes in breast tissue.

    However, a published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that having cosmetic breast implant surgery did not increase the risk of breast cancer.

    Scientists need to carry out more research to confirm the link.

    There are several different types of breast cancer, including:

    • Ductal carcinoma: This begins in the milk duct and is the most common type.
    • Lobular carcinoma: This starts in the lobules.

    Invasive breast cancer occurs when the cancer cells break out from inside the lobules or ducts and invade nearby tissue. This increases the chance of cancer spreading to other parts of the body.

    Noninvasive breast cancer develops when the cancer remains inside its place of origin and has not yet spread. However, these cells can sometimes progress to invasive breast cancer.

    A doctor often diagnoses breast cancer as the result of routine screening or when a woman approaches her doctor after detecting symptoms.

    Several diagnostic tests and procedures help to confirm a diagnosis.

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