Thursday, January 29, 2009

Your Breast-Cancer Risk

Here’s what I read today from my yahoo mailbox. And I just want to share it with you.

Crucial information about the disease that all young women need to know.

It rarely strikes in your 20s.

Less than five percent of all breast cancer cases occur in women under 40. It usually hits after menopause; nearly 80 percent of cases are in women over 50.

Gynes don’t always take symptoms seriously.
Because breast cancer is so uncommon in young women, your doc may blow off a lump or other worrisome sign like bloody nipple discharge. Insist that she perform a clinical breast exam and a needle biopsy or ultrasound.

A family history puts younger women at risk.

When 20- and 30- something women develop the disease, they may have a gene mutation. If your mother or sister had breast cancer before menopause, consider genetic testing.

It’s not deadlier for younger women.
New studies disprove the theory that breast cancer is more lethal in your 20s and 30s. How aggressive it is depends on the size and type of tumor and if it has spread to other body parts. A stage 1 cancer in a young woman is just as curable as a stage 1 cancer in a woman who is older.

Sources: Katherine Alley, MD, Medical Director of Breast Cancer at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, American Cancer Society.