Breast Cancer Awareness a Must for Young Women
The incidence of advanced breast cancer in younger women has been slowly but steadily increasing since 1970, according to findings that were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Rebecca Johnson, medical director at Seattle Children’s Hospital said that the number of cases has tripled for metastatic breast cancer in women under the age of 40.
While the number of advanced breast cancer is increasing, no such trend was found for diagnoses of earlier breast cancer in younger women. Johnson is uncertain of what’s driving the increase, as the study only looked at the number of women diagnosed with advanced disease over time.
The research team analyzed data from the U.S. National Cancer Institute registry. They checked for information on whether the cancer was confined only to the breast or if it has spread to other parts or organs. The data showed that the increase was found among all races and ethnicities from 1992 onwards.
According to Johnson, the findings should not change the current screening guidelines for mammography like some organizations recommend routine screenings starting at age 40, while the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends routine check-up starting at age 50. Johnson added that other studies should be done to verify their findings.
While Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society sees the findings as interesting and important, it has to be put into perspective as the increasing trend has been consistent over time, he noted.
Dr. Courtney Vito, staff surgeon said that the number of cases of young women (aged 25-39) with advanced breast cancer still remains relatively low compared to women 40 and older.
Lichtenfeld added that the emphasis of the finding is the importance of breast self-awareness.
HealthDay News. More Younger Women Diagnosed With Advanced Breast Cancer: Study.