Advanced breast cancer among young women increases

SEATTLE, Wash. – A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, released Wednesday, reported that the number of metastatic breast cancercases has slowly increased during the last three decades, but for women 25-39, there was a larger increase found — 2.1 percent per year from 1976-2009.

Dr. Rebecca Johnson of the Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington, said the report was based on an analysis of data contained in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results, SEER. The findings, Dr. Johnson said, the findings raise a red flag because that age group has the worst prognosis when it comes to treatment.

The affected age group often has no recommended routine breast cancer screenings, have the least health insurance and have the potential to live many years, Dr. Johnson said. As to why more young women are being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer tumors isn’t clear.

Some health experts cite rising obesity rates, increased alcohol and tobacco use, and, even, genetics as possible culprits behind the increasing incidents of advanced breast cancer cases for that age group. Action needs to be taken to diagnose women with breast cancer earlier, when the prognosis is much more positive, experts said.

The biggest increase noted by the report occurred between 2000-2009, with 3.6 percent more cases per year. Women over 40 had smaller increases in metastatic cancer diagnoses compared to other age groups. Race, ethnicity or place of residence did not appear to impact the findings.

Via ABC News.

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