Young Breast Cancer Survivors Program

At a glance

In 2019, CDC funded eight organizations for 5 years. The funds provided structured support services and resources for young breast cancer survivors and metastatic breast cancer patients.

three women of different ethnicities


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 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.

More than 150,000 US women 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 patients' 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

  • Strategy 1: Establish a network of providers, survivors, and caregivers to facilitate policy, systems, and environmental change interventions that improve provider practices, remove structural barriers to care, and support healthy behaviors among YBCS and MBC patients.
  • Strategy 2: Provide or facilitate educational opportunities for health care providers.
  • Strategy 3: Use innovative technological approaches to educate survivors, caregivers, and providers.
  • Strategy 4: Engage patient navigators and community health workers to increase access to and use of program services among underserved populations.

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:

  • Who are African American, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, and Ashkenazi Jewish.
  • Who have a low socioeconomic status.
  • With disabilities.
  • With MBC.


This program builds on the successes of previous programs. But for further improvements, an evaluation with well-defined outcomes 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 support systems and lifestyle programs.
  • Achieve the outcomes outlined in the notice of funding opportunity.