It’s true—breast cancer affects mostly older women. But every year 11% of all new breast cancer instances in the US occur in women under the age of 45. Of these, 5% are under the age of 40. Aside from genetics, little is known about what causes early onset breast cancer, but there are a few aspects that set it apart:
- It’s mostly hereditary, which is not the case in older women.
- It’s usually found at a later stage, when it is generally more aggressive and more difficult to treat.
- Younger women face different body image issues, fertility concerns, financial problems and feelings of isolation.