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Breast Cancer in Younger Women: Rethinking Age-Based Screenings Amid Rising Rates.
Sep 5, 2023, 16:59

Breast Cancer in Younger Women: Rethinking Age-Based Screenings Amid Rising Rates.

OncoDaily Editorial Staff

The persistent myth that breast cancer is a disease affecting primarily older women is increasingly being debunked. A recent study featured in The Washington Post uncovers a startling trend: diagnoses of breast cancer in younger women under age 50 have increased, particularly among those ages 30-39.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) highlighted this troubling data, arguing that “this is a stark reminder that we need to move towards risk-based screening as opposed to age-based screening.” The organization stressed the urgency of researching risk factors and drivers of the disease and called for an expansion and improvement in screening technologies tailored to younger women and women of all ages with dense breasts.

Dr. Erika Hamilton, the Director of Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Research at Sarah Cannon Research Institute, seconded the BCRF’s concerns. She shared her professional experience, stating:

I have PLENTY of women with breast cancer in their 30s. I worry the debate around starting age for mammograms, frequency, and lack of uniform consensus from different task forces and societies has left people feeling that mammograms aren’t that important. That’s not true! They save lives and are a very simple screening test that catches cancers much earlier than someone would find on their own.

As we move further into the 21st century, the medical community must address this alarming trend, and BCRF urges a change, recognizing that it’s time to shift from an age-based to a risk-based screening paradigm. More individualized screening, built on comprehensive risk assessment, could catch cancers earlier and save more lives.

To echo Dr. Hamilton’s practical advice, talk to your healthcare provider about what starting age for mammograms is right for you. Early detection is key.

This article endeavors to raise awareness about a subject matter of critical importance to public health. Take the time to consult your healthcare provider about your individualized screening plan—it could very well save your life.

Sources: Erika Hamilton/LinkedIn
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation/LinkedIn