Breast cancer in young women

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Breast cancer in young women

At my age, it can’t be breast cancer; I’m way too young!

Despite the fact that the majority of breast cancers develop between the ages of 50 and 69, it is quite possible to have the disease well before that. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women aged 30-49, and it is also the leading cause of cancer deaths in this age group1.

  • Treatments such as chemotherapy can induce early menopause and diminish a woman’s fertility. Having children after treatment will not be impossible, but may be more difficult2;
  • Sexual dysfunctions related to early menopause may occur following treatment;
  • If the woman’s children are young, it may be difficult to reconcile a young family life with breast cancer treatment;
  • Young women affected can experience more symptoms of depression and anxiety related to their body image and self-esteem3.

From the age of 50, all women in Québec are included in the Québec Breast Cancer Screening Program (QBCSP) and are encouraged to have a mammogram every two years. However, there is still no screening option for younger women. It is therefore essential to observe the breasts and be on the lookout for worrisome signs and symptoms.

So what is “breast observation,” and how should you go about it? The exercise consists of getting to know your entire breast area, including your armpits and nipples, but also recognizing changes in your skin. Some people may be nervous about doing this exercise because they are afraid of finding “something.” We have a tip for you: start by doing it without necessarily looking for “problems.” Do it just to get to know your healthy breasts!

Also take the time to observe the changes in your body during your menstrual cycle; these are “normal” because they recur every month and can be easily explained. In this way, you will be aware of your body’s normal fluctuations and will be able to quickly detect any recent and persistent changes. With this preventive routine, you will be able to sound the alarm and consult a doctor in case of abnormalities.

whether it is appropriate to set up a screening plan based on your own situation. Definitely don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor and ask questions about your personal risk.

Discover our complete breast observation guide and learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and the right technique to adopt: here.

You are not alone

The first step if you notice a symptom that worries you is to see a doctor. If you have any questions or concerns about breast cancer, call us at 1 855 561-PINK. We are here for you before, during and after diagnosis and treatment. A member of our team will listen and guide you, confidentially.

BIBLIOGRAPHY « Enceinte et cancer du sein ». Fondation cancer du sein du Québec (blog). Consulté le 3 mars 2022. OMS. « Cancer du sein ». Consulté le 2 mars 2022. Partenariat canadien contre le cancer. « Rendement du système de lutte contre le cancer Rapport de 2018 », 2018, 68. SCC. « Statistiques canadiennes sur le cancer 2021 », novembre 2021. Young Survival Coalition. « Breast Cancer Statistics in Young Adults ». Young Survival Coalition, Young women facing breast cancer together. Consulté le 3 mars 2022.

  1. SCC, « Statistiques canadiennes sur le cancer 2021 ».
  2. Young Survival Coalition, « Breast Cancer Statistics in Young Adults ».
  3. FCSQ, « Enceinte et cancer du sein ».