You’ve always considered yourself a passionate supporter of breasts. You make sure each day that you’re pair is safely held in the very best bra. And, of course, once October rolls around, you don pink threads in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
But do you know the facts?
Every year, more than 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer; 11,500 of these women will be 40 and under, according the American Cancer Society. The chance that a 20-something like you will get breast cancer is small, only five percent. Yet that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t become aware of your breasts and their well-being. The truth is, young women CAN and DO develop this disease.
So why is it that you hear so little about young breast cancers cases?
The majority of women diagnosed are 40 and older, so most studies are conducted on older women. But young women struggle with many issues that their older counterparts don’t face: the possibility of early menopause, pregnancy after diagnosis and generally more advanced cancers at diagnosis. The lack of research and information available to this age group has caused those with the disease to feel isolated and alone.
The purpose of the Young Survival Coalition’s (YSC) (the only international breast cancer organization dedicated to the concerns and issues to women 40 and under) is to decrease such feelings by raising awareness. YSC says that “the best tool for young women to find breast cancer early is to become familiar with your breasts: their shape, size and what they feel like. Learn what is normal for you. Are your breasts lumpy? Is one slightly bigger than the other?”
Now, we’re not saying you’ve been neglecting your “girlfriends”; we’re just suggesting you take the time to really become familiar with them and encourage all of the other ladies in your life to do the same.
So don’t just dress the part; think pink!
Go to www.youngsurvival.org for more information.