5 Reasons Why Young Women Should Perform Breast Self Exam

Think You're Too Young for Breast Cancer? Think Again, You're Not!

Woman unhooking bra in front of mirror
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When you're young, breast cancer is probably the furthest thing from your mind. However, it shouldn’t be. Although breast cancer in young women is significantly less common among those from 20 to 39, it does happen. Don’t believe it won’t happen to you, I personally knew a young woman only 21 or 22 who had breast cancer. Finding time to incorporate breast self exam into your monthly schedule is easy when you realize just how important it is.

  1. Except for certain types of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in women of all ages. Although the most confirmed and noteworthy risk factors for developing breast cancer are gender and growing older.
  2. Younger women diagnosed with breast cancer often experience a more aggressive cancer and a lower chance of survival. This fact alone is enough to make early detection and breast self exam crucial for younger women.
  3. Generally, screening mammograms are recommended at age 40. Sadly, this occasionally results in younger women not being diagnosed with breast cancer until the cancer is in a later stage, and can lower their chance of survival.
  4. Because breast tissue isn't as thick when you're younger it can make diagnosis of breast cancer difficult. For this reason young women should begin monthly breast self exam at age 20, so that you can become familiar with how your breasts look and how they feel, thereby making it easier for you to notice any changes in your breasts.
  1. Because the lifetime risk of breast cancer is one in seven for American women, establishing good breast health practices while you are still young can reduce your chance of getting breast cancer at a later stage.
Remember, anytime you see or feel any kind of change in your breast(s) you should see your health-care provider.
Only a qualified medical professional can definitively diagnose the cause of breast issues. Breast changes don't always mean breast cancer, but they do mean you should see your doctor. More information about breast cancer and young women is available at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation website.

Source: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

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