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More Women Under 50 Are Getting Breast Cancer

More Women Under 50 Are Getting Breast Cancer

New data shows that certain kinds of cancer are being diagnosed more often in younger adults, and the increases seem to be driven by cancers in younger women. Researchers have found that breast cancer had the highest number of early-onset cases, which is those under 50 years old. Uterine cancer also saw a 76% increase in diagnosis rates.

The study looked at over half a million cases from 2010-2019 and while breast cancer showed the highest total of early-onset cases, overall there was a decrease in cancer mortality. At the same time, the rate of cancers in adults 50 and older is going down.

The reason for the increase is likely not because more women have the inherited genetic mutations like BRCA1 and BRCA2, but more related to lifestyle factors including:

  • Being overweight, which can affect hormones and can cause inflammation
  • Increased alcohol use
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Using hormonal birth control long-term
  • Fewer pregnancies and less breastfeeding

Breast cancer isn’t preventable and can still happen despite living a healthy lifestyle, but lowering your risk is key, as are regular screenings that can catch any development early, when there is the best chance of successful treatment.

If you’re 40 or older, or if you are younger and at a higher risk, talk to your doctor about when to schedule a mammogram. And if you notice any change in your breasts, from a lump or redness to tenderness or discharge, see your doctor.

Due for your mammogram? Schedule one here.