Breast Cancer in Young Women in Australia

Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young Australian women. Cancer Australia estimates that in 2017, 17,730 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (144 males and 17,586 females). 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, however 900 young women are estimated to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 – that is more than 2 women each day. 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.  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. Young women also tend to think they are ‘bullet proof’ or feel they are overthinking the symptoms they find. They are often fit and active, with no discernible risk factors. Because of this, receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer comes as a huge shock to the young woman, her family and friends.

Young women are typically diagnosed with more aggressive breast cancers than older women, and are at a higher risk of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body. They have a higher chance of the breast cancer returning and are more likely to die from the disease than older women diagnosed with breast cancer, regardless of the stage of the cancer. Because young women are commonly diagnosed with more aggressive breast cancers, their treatment is often more aggressive. These treatments can result in physical and psychological changes that can affect their future and quality of life.

The role of family history in breast cancer in young women can also be overestimated. Family history only explains a maximum of 15% of breast cancers in young women.

So Brave’s commitment to breast cancer research

So Brave is committed to funding research that prevents, diagnoses, treats and monitors breast cancer in young women. In our 2017 fundraising cycle, we are looking to partner with like-minded researchers and research organisations to make this a reality. For more information about So Brave’s investment in breast cancer research or to partner with us, please contact us today.


L-R: Natalie Viset, Dr Darren Korbie, Diane Hutton, Rachelle Panitz, Wendy Fantasia, Natalie Guardala, Prof Matt Trau, Centre for Personalised Nanomedicine, AIBN

How So Brave is funding cancer research

In 2016, So Brave raised over $70000 for breast cancer research.

Centre for Personalised NanoMedicine, Australian Institute of BioEngineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN)

So Brave donated $35,000 for cancer research to the Centre for Personalised NanoMedicine, AIBN. By bringing together cutting edge research from the fields of Nanotechnology, Molecular Biology, Clinical Research and Health Economics, the vision of the Personalised Nanomedicine Centre is to become a world leader in this field as well as a catalyst for change in the local and international medical system.

It is now well documented that patient survival rates dramatically improve, and the cost of treatment dramatically decreases when disease is detected and treated at an early stage (e.g., survival for cancers detected early is as high as 90-98%, compared to 10-20% if the cancer is detected at  a late stage).  In nearly all forms of cancer, early diagnosis can lead to a cure at a fraction of the cost of currently ineffective treatments for late stage disease. The Centre focuses primarily on nanobiotechnology research, development and commercialisation.

Prof Matt Trau, Senior Group Leader, AIBN

National Breast Cancer Foundation

The So Brave Breast Cancer Fundraiser Project proudly supports the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and breast cancer research. In 2017, So Brave donated $35000 to the NBCF to fund their life-changing breast cancer research.

The NBCF is the only national body that funds life-changing breast cancer research with money raised entirely by the Australian public. Breast cancer is the most common life-threatening cancer facing Australian women, with 8 women dying from the disease each day — mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and friends.

Research is the only way to improve how breast cancer is diagnosed, managed and treated. By funding only world-class research, NBCF is working towards a goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.
NBCF research has helped develop better therapies, greater understanding of possible ways to stop the spread of breast cancer to other areas, and improved quality of life for patients and their families. Since they were established in 1994, they have awarded more than $127 million to around 430 Australian-based research projects to improve the health and well-being of those affected by breast cancer. With no Government funding, this money has been raised entirely by the Australian public.

For more information go to: NBCF.ORG.AU

NBCF Funded Researcher, Professor Nehmat Houssami From The University Of Sydney