Breast cancer on the rise in young women

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- A recent study shows a rise in the number of young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Tumors among younger women tend to be more aggressive than older women. However, it is not recommended for women under 40 to get routine mammograms. Experts are still researching what is causing this increase and said more work needs to be done.

The results of the 34-year analysis shows there were about 250 advanced cases in women younger than 40 in the mid-1970s versus more than 800 in 2009.

"Specific age groupis 25-39 and we've seen that risk increase from 1976 to about 1.53 to 2.90 per100,000 in 2009,"St. Bernards doctor, Shane Speights said.

There has been a 2 percent increase per year over that timespan. Breast cancer in younger women is much more aggressive versus older women.

"Unfortunately there is also a genetic predisposition,"Speights said. "Ifyou've got a significant family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, differenttypes of cancer like that, you can be at an increased risk."

Speight says with breast cancer, symptoms and risks factorsare on a case by case basis.

"Every patient is different"Speight said. "And obviously they have differentfactors so the age of the patient, there risk factors at time of diagnosis, thestaging of the cancer at diagnosis."

The idea of younger women getting mammogramshas been up for debate and very controversial.

"I think especiallyif they have it in their family, they should be able to go ahead and get themearlier in age especially with  it commonnow in kids that are younger," Region 8 resident, Sharon Cecil said.

There was no increase in cancer at other stages in young women or increase in advanced disease among women older than 40. Breast cancer has overall declined in more recent years.

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