Many younger women do not think of themselves at a risk for getting breast cancer. But the sad fact is that around 7% of breast cancer instances have been diagnosed in younger women who are aged below 40. The thing is breast cancer can affect any woman regardless of age. To combat this one needs to be aware of the risk factors. Normally these are the factors that would put women at risk for getting breast cancer:
- Instances of women in the family getting breast cancer or any other breast related diseases
- Instances of having taken radiation therapy on chest before the age of 40
- The finding of a specific defect related to genealogy (BRCA1.BRCA2 mutation) females who have defects on any one of these genes are at greater risk
- A score of 1.7% and above on Gail Index for risk of getting breast cancer or a 20% for a life time risk
- Factors that are part of the risk include ingestion of alcohol heavily, consumption of red meat in large quantities, race, density of breasts and obesity
A few studies have even pointed out the use birth control pills having a slightly elevated risk of getting breast cancer though these are not conclusive. Things like Hormone Replacement Therapy with progestins and estrogens have also been linked to increased risk of breast cancer.
What is the difference in younger women being afflicted with breast cancer?
Finding Breast Cancer in Teenage Girls or Breast Cancer in Young Women is little more difficult in terms of treatment and diagnosis. The diagnosis is hindered due to the density of the breast tissue being denser. This means by the time a lump is discovered the cancer has really advanced. It also happens that the cancer may be more aggressive and thereby less reactive to treatment.
One of the major problems with breast cancer is the delay in diagnosing it. Sometimes younger women tend to overlook the symptoms like lumps or discharge from the nipples. This stems from a belief that they are too young to get breast cancer. They tend to convince themselves that the lumps are just cysts. Even doctors are prone to not taking these lumps seriously in some instances.