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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Your Health

Young Women Still At Risk Of Breast Cancer

It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while many think it's a disease only older women suffer from, young women are still at risk. 

Did you know that women ages 15 to 34 die more frequently from breast cancer than any other cancer? 

According to and Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.

Dr. Maria E. Nelson, Assistan Professor of Clinical Surgery at USC Keck School of Medicine, says that women should be aware of their bodies as soon as they turn 18.  

“We have detected cancers in young women in their early twenties and all the way in their nineties,” she said.

Young women with breast cancer struggle with many issues including: the possibility of early menopause, effects on fertility and concerns about body image.

A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Every year, nearly 1500 women under age 40 die from breast cancer.

Dr. Nelson says that the best advice she could give to any woman is to get checked at an early age. 

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