Breast Cancer in Young Women in Australia
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among Australian women. It is estimated that 15,600 females and 145 males were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. It is also estimated that one in eight Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before they turn 85 with the majority being diagnosed between 50 and 70 years old. There is a significant proportion of women 40 years old and under that are diagnosed every year.
Women diagnosed under 40 find additional difficulties in both diagnosing and treating the disease, given their pre-menopausal status, fertility and child-bearing and family situations. The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) recently released the 800 young women campaign to start a conversation in our community to raise awareness of breast cancer in women under 40.
Nearly 800 young women will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Australia – that is more than 2 women each day. By 2020, 830 young women are predicted to be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia each year. In 2010, 14,181 women were diagnose with breast cancer in Australia; 767 of these women under 40 years old.Because it’s relatively uncommon, symptoms of breast cancer in young women – such as a lump or breast pain – can often be ignored or dismissed. Routine mammographic screening is not offered to women under the age of 40, as the evidence shows that it is not effective in this group.