What causes breast cancer in your 20s and 30s?
Breast cancer happens when cells in the breast begin to grow and multiply abnormally. Changes in DNA can cause normal breast cells to become abnormal.
The exact reason why normal cells turn into cancer is unclear, but researchers know that hormones, environmental factors, and genetics each play a role.
Roughly 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to inherited gene mutations. The most well-known are breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, your doctor may suggest testing your blood for these specific mutations.
Breast cancer in your 20s and 30s has been found to differ biologically in some cases from the cancers found in older women. For example, younger women are more likely to be diagnosed with triple-negative and HER2-positive breast cancers than older women.
Breast cancer under 40 statistics
Here are some statistics about breast cancer in women under 40:
- About 12,000 women younger than 40 are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
- About 800 women younger than 40 are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer each year.
- About 30 percent or more of breast cancer diagnoses occur in the few years after a woman has had a baby.
- Women younger than 50 are more likely to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). TNBC is cancer that tests negative for progesterone and estrogen receptors and too much HER2 protein. TNBC has lower survival rates.
- The number of metastatic breast cancer cases diagnosed in women ages 25 to 39 increased by 2.1 percent per year from 1976 to 2009.
- Survival rates are lower for women younger than 40. According to one study, women age 40 or younger were 30 percent more likely to die from breast cancer compared to women who were diagnosed between the ages of 51 to 60.
- Almost 1,000 U.S. women younger than 40 died from breast cancer in 2017.
Metastatic breast cancer statistics
The number of women under 40 being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer is increasing.
Metastatic breast cancer means that cancer has advanced to stage 4 and has moved beyond the breast tissue into other areas of the body, such as the bones or the brain. Survival rates are lower for cancer that has metastasized to other parts of the body.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the 5-year survival rate for those with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is 27 percent for women of all ages. However, one study found no significant differences in median survival rate between younger and older women with metastatic breast cancer.
Another study trusted Source looked at more than 20,000 women diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer between 1988 and 2011. The data suggest that survival rates have been improving since the late 80s and early 90s.
Content Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/breast-cancer/breast-cancer-20s-30s#metastatic-breast-cancer-statistics
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