Despite the many advances in the detection and treatment of breast cancer, it not only remains a top health concern but it has actually taken more and more victims each year. Not only that; for reasons that are still unknown, the average age of breast cancer patients - and worse, of those who die of breast cancer - has been getting younger and younger every year as well. Medical science has developed a virtual arsenal of weapons against this disease, but for that arsenal to work, women need to be more aware of the urgency of the issue of breast cancer in their lives, as well as what they can do to prevent or beat it.
That breast cancer is an older women’s disease is a myth: 15% of all breast cancer cases are women under the age of 45. Breast cancer is, in fact, the leading cancer in women under 45; what’s worse, the mortality rate of younger breast cancer patients is higher than in older women. For some reason which is as yet unknown, only the more virulent forms of breast cancer hit younger women.
Like many forms of cancer, a person can be predisposed to getting breast cancer. If she has relatives who had breast cancer, then obviously the risk is greater. Other risk factors are not as clearly defined. Women who have not lactated are also more likely to get it. Excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and other environmental factors can contribute to elevated risks, but this by no means guarantees that a healthy body weight and abstinence from alcohol means zero risk. Virtually all women are at risk for breast cancer, and it is the single most-commonly-occurring cancer in women. Because there are no guaranteed methods of preventing the cancer, all women need to be on the lookout for it.