Young Breast Cancer Survivors Program

Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. About 9% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age. The young women diagnosed with these cancers are called young breast cancer survivors (YBCS). They often face difficult medical, psychosocial, financial, and health issues related to their diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.

More than 150,000 women in this country are living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), and 3 in 4 of them had initially been diagnosed with an earlier stage of breast cancer.1 Metastatic, or stage IV, breast cancer is when cancer cells have spread from the breast to distant parts of the body. Women with MBC have distinct challenges that greatly affect their physical and mental health.

In 2019, CDC funded eight organizations for 5 years to provide structured support services and resources for YBCS and MBC patients. These services and resources are designed to increase their survival and improve their quality of life. These organizations also provide educational resources for health care providers who serve this population.

The eight funded organizations are—

Program Strategies

Priority Populations

This program focuses on YBCS and, when appropriate, their caregivers. The program prioritizes YBCS in communities disproportionately affected by breast cancer that would benefit from additional survivor support. These communities include, but are not limited to, young women—

  • In racial or ethnic groups including African American/Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, and Ashkenazi Jewish.
  • Who have a low socioeconomic status.
  • With disabilities.
  • With MBC.


While this program builds on the successes of previous programs, an evaluation with well-defined outcomes focused on program improvement allows a program to build on its successes, grow, and evolve. The evaluation assesses the extent to which programs—

  • Have the capacity to provide services and support for both YBCS and MBC patients successfully.
  • Foster and sustain partnerships that are critical to the implementation of support systems and lifestyle programs.
  • Achieve the outcomes outlined in the notice of funding opportunity.


1Mariotto A, Etzioni R, Hurlbert M, Penberthy L, Mayer M. Estimation of the number of women living with metastatic breast cancer in the United States. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 2017;26(6):809–815.

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