Breast Cancer In Young Women

Photo of three young women

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. About 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer during her life.

Although breast cancer mostly occurs among older women, in rare cases breast cancer does affect women under the age of 45. About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.

Breast cancer in young women is—

  • More likely to be hereditary than breast cancer in older women.
  • More likely to be found at a later stage, and is often more aggressive and difficult to treat.
  • Often coupled with unique issues, including concerns about body image, fertility, finances, and feelings of isolation.

All women are at risk for getting breast cancer, but some things can raise a woman’s risk for getting breast cancer before age 45. Learning what factors increase your chance of getting breast cancer is an important first step in assessing your risk. Learning the symptoms of breast cancer also may also help you know when to talk to your doctor.

Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy
Picture of a woman who had a mastectomy

Many women who have a mastectomy (surgery to remove an entire breast to treat or prevent breast cancer) have the option of having the shape of the removed breast rebuilt.external icon

Photo of two women
Find out what can raise a woman’s risk for getting breast cancer before age 45.
Photo of a woman touching her shoulder
Learn the symptoms of breast cancer to help you talk to your doctor.