Although it is true that most cases of breast cancer occur in women over 50, the disease can and does strike younger women. Because of the risk, it is never too early to learn about protecting your breast health and to talk to your doctor about monthly self-exams. At Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, our breast care services team can also play an important role managing your breast cancer risk. Here is a look at this common disease and how it affects young women.
What Are the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer in Young Women?
Anyone can get breast cancer, but the women who develop it before age 45 often share several risk factors. They may have a close relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age or carry certain genes that are associated with breast cancer or have relatives who carry those genes. Women who had radiation therapy to the breast or chest at a young age or who had some other types of breast diseases are also at a higher risk. Dense breast tissue has been associated with breast cancer. Other things that add an increased risk are having a period before age 12, heavy alcohol use, and obesity.
What Symptoms Should Young Women Look For?
The symptoms of breast cancer in young women are the same as in older patients. They include changes in breast tissue, including lumps, and nipple discharge. Some women dismiss the signs of breast cancer because they think they are too young to get it, but any changes in your breasts should always be reported to your doctor.
How Can I Reduce My Risk of Breast Cancer?
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and find out if you should start having mammograms at a younger age than other women because of your medical history. Be vigilant about self-checks, and work to maintain a healthy weight.
Good breast health starts at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center. We provide a wide range of other services, including stroke care, orthopedic surgery , and geriatric psych treatment in Las Vegas. To learn more, please call (702) 880-2700.