When we learn about women (and men) who are diagnosed with breast cancer in their teens, twenties, and thirties – we react differently. And we do, because for many decades, breast cancer has been seen as a disease which strikes middle-aged and older women.

Here are a few facts, which we found on the amazing www.youngsurvival.org website:

  • Each year, approximately 70 thousand men and women age 15 to 39 are diagnosed with cancer in the US
  •  Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in this age group
  • Women ages 15 to 34 and 35 to 54 die more frequently from breast cancer than any other cancer
  • In 2011, the American Cancer Society projected 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer among U.S. women annually, as well as an estimated 57,650 additional cases of in situ breast cancer
  • It is estimated that 13,110 cases of breast cancer will be in women under age 40 and approximately 26,275 women will be under 45 years of age
  • Compared to older women, young women generally face more aggressive cancers and lower survival rates
The Young Survival organization also shares that “…no effective breast-cancer screening tool yet exists for women ages 40 or younger.
Young women with breast cancer struggle with many issues either not present or much less severe in the lives of older women, including:
  • The possibility of early menopause
  • Effects on fertility
  • Questions about pregnancy after diagnosis
  • Concerns about body image
  • Challenges to financial stability
As part of our ongoing mission at DivaCare, we will be posting articles regularly, addressing challenges across the board, and advocate for better health care for all as our society continues to evolve.
While our focus will always be on providing practical guidance that will enable women to “live beautifully” after their surgeries, particularly when challenged with Lymphedema, we believe in a holistic view and integrative approach.
We are so grateful to organizations like Young Survival for their work, their guidance, their offerings and their commitment, and proud to include a link to their website on our resources page.