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When Can I go for Breast Cancer Diagnosis?

Most young women usually don’t think about getting breast cancer. Although less than 7% of cases of breast cancer occur in women under 40 years of age, breast cancer can occur at any age, and we should be aware of the risk factors. Breast cancer in younger women is likely to be aggressive and can fail to respond to treatment. Women diagnosed at a younger age are highly likely to have a mutated gene of BRCA1 or BRCA2.

Diagnosis of breast cancer in women under 40 years of age is difficult because of their denser breast tissue. By the time the lump in their breast is felt, cancer may have reached the advanced stage. A delay in diagnosing breast cancer causes more problem, especially if one ignores the warning signs such us unusual nipple discharge or a breast lump.

The risk factors for breast cancer include:

  • A family history of breast cancer especially in female family members.
  • A personal history of the disease or some non-cancerous breast diseases.
  • Having a particular genetic mutation of BRCA1 or BRCA2
  • Starting your periods before the age of 12.
  • A history of radiation treatments to the chest before 40 years of age
  • Heavy alcohol consumption.
  • Regular consumption of red meat.
  • Obesity
  • Race – white women have the highest rates of breast cancer 

According to BreastCancer.org, aging increases the risk of breast cancer. The younger you are, the lower your risk of developing breast cancer.

  • The probability of developing invasive breast cancer in the next ten years if you are 20 years old is .06% or 1 in 1,732.
  • At the age of 30, the probability of developing the cancer in l0 years is .44% or 1 in 228.
  • The probability is 1.45% or 1 in 69 at the age of 40.
  • At 50 years of age, the probability is 2.31% or 1 in 43.
  • At age 60 and 70, the probability increase to 3.49% or 1 in 29 and 3.84% or 1 in 26 respectively.

It is recommended that regular breast exams be done at least every three years for women from the age of 20. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that those from the age of 50 to 74 years screen every two years. You can discuss with your doctor about what’s right for you.


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