The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) drew urgent attention to the unique challenges the 800 young women annually diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia face, with the launch of its confronting report, Not Just an Older Woman’s Disease: Breast Cancer in your 20s and 30s.
The foundation says there is little awareness that breast cancer can occur in a woman’s 20s and 30s and even in pregnancy. As a result, symptoms can be ignored or dismissed when early detection is critical. Respondents to the report told of how potential diagnoses were dismissed as nothing to worry about, or warranted a wait and see approach. That tends to reinforce the view by health professionals and young women that they are too young to develop breast cancer.
The report focuses on early detection and management of primary breast cancer. The foundation says it is conscious of the unmet needs of young women whose breast cancer has spread, and recognises the requirement for further support, greater awareness, better therapies and more research to counter the negative outcomes. The report also delves into the practical, physical and emotional challenges young women face…read more