• Approximately 1 in 8 women (13%) will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 39 women (3%) will die from breast cancer

  • About 6% of people are Stage IV from their initial diagnosis. 20% to 30% of people initially diagnosed with early stage disease will develop metastatic breast cancer.

  • About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.

Young Women and Breast Cancer

Imagine hearing the words ‘you have breast cancer.’ In a flash you are sent into a whirlwind of emotions many of which are completely out of your immediate control. You are projected into uncertainty.

This is just the beginning of the shared experience young women face when they are diagnosed with breast cancer. They face many different challenges because of their age and where they are in life; these are challenges that can impact them far beyond diagnosis and treatment. Breast cancers in women under age 40 often have more aggressive features, tend to be diagnosed at a later stage, and may have worse outcomes. Recent research also shows that breast cancer death rates are climbing for women in their 20s and 30s after decades of decreasing.

So, what are these “different challenges?” A cancer diagnosis and treatment for women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s can mean…

  • Changes in or loss of employment, financial resources, and support systems
  • Early menopause due to most breast cancer treatments leading to infertility or difficult decisions about pregnancy
  • Increased physical and psychological impacts of treatment causing sexual and relationship issues
  • Increased body image concerns especially after breast cancer-related surgery and treatment
  • Treatment side effects may make it difficult to have the energy needed to raise children and/or sustain careers
  • Possible long-term health effects that could impact overall functioning and well-being for years following  a cancer diagnosis (examples may include bone-density loss, heart damage, neuropathy, and lymphedema)
  • The fear of recurrence (we’ve named it “The Stalker”) can be triggered by changes in physical or medical changes.

Don’t worry, there is good news!

  • Technology and treatments are always improving to increase life span and quality of life
  • There are organizations like Here for the Girls that can help!

Here for the Girls offers robust support for young women who face not just treatment, but long-term cancer survivorship issues. We provide ways for these young women to connect with others like them who can offer understanding, information, and sisterhood so they can face (and conquer!) these challenges together. We call this “loving support.”

 

The Road Can Lead to Great Places

Yes, a cancer diagnosis comes with challenges, but one thing we have learned from years of experience working with women who have gone through this journey is that most come out on the other side with a new appreciation for the wonderful things and people in their lives.

Most women decide to try new things, change old habits, meet new people, and have new adventures. At H4TG we call that “living life with an exclamation point instead of a period,” and we totally encourage it! 

Get Our Annual A Calendar to Live By + Breast Health Guide

© 2023 Here for the Girls, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity
EIN 26-0606190
1309 Jamestown Rd. Suite 204
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Contact us at info@hereforthegirls.org
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