Breast Cancer In Young Women And The Importance Of Screening

Breast Cancer In Young Women And The Importance Of Screening

Dr Hemanth Vudayaraju shares the importance of breast cancer screening, especially among young women.

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Updated : October 14, 2022 10:27 AM IST

Breast cancer is not particularly dependent on age. Though women above 40 are at more risk of the condition, women under that age may also be diagnosed with the same. The breast tissue density makes it a more challenging diagnosis at a young age. Dr Hemanth Vudayaraju, Robotic Surgical Oncologist, DIRECTOR of Surgical oncology & Minimal access OncoSurgery, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, shares the importance of breast cancer screening, especially among young women.

Is Breast Cancer Risk For Young Women?

Most young women do not believe they are in danger of breast cancer. Breast cancer, however, can develop at any age: Although 5% of breast cancer cases occur in women under 40, this group may assume they are not at risk. Therefore, every woman should be informed of her breast cancer risk factors. (A condition or action that increases a person's likelihood of contracting a disease is known as a risk factor). A woman is more likely to get breast cancer as a result of various causes, such as:

  1. A biopsy that reveals a high-risk lesion or a personal history of breast cancer
  2. A family history that is alarming for a genetic abnormality that may increase their risk for breast cancer
  3. A history of breast cancer, particularly at a young age in the family
  4. History of radiation therapy to the chest
  5. Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and a genetic mutation are known to increase the chance of developing breast cancer (one in 40 Ashkenazi Jews carry mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2)

What Makes Breast Cancer In Younger Women Unique?

Can Breast Cancer In Younger Females Be Stopped?

A referral for genetic counselling may be suitable for women with a family history that points to a hereditary propensity for breast cancer. A more individualised discussion about screening and treatment choices for preventative illnesses will be possible once these congenital conditions are identified. For instance, screening for bearers of the BRCA mutation starts at age 25. However, all females can reduce their chance of breast cancer by taking the following actions:

  1. Achieving and maintaining ideal body weight
  2. Limiting alcohol consumption
  3. Getting regular exercise
  4. Breastfeeding

Having said that, if breast cancer does arise, quick diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve a woman's chances of surviving. Women with breast cancer who are diagnosed early have a survival rate of more than 90%. Young women should be advised to be breast-aware and to notify their healthcare practitioner of any changes to their breasts. These changes are:

  1. Lumps
  2. Nipple discharge
  3. Focal pain
  4. Skin changes

Should Women Under Age 40 Get Mammograms?

Mammograms for screening are often not advised for women under 40. However, screening can start for women with genetic abnormalities at age 25, and it frequently begins ten years before the first affected relative. In addition, breast MRI is often recommended for high-risk women in addition to mammography and sonomammography