- Question from ArtS: I am only 28, but I have found several lumps in my breast—one toward the bottom of my breast, and one much larger on the top. Am I too young for breast cancer? What are these lumps? Thank you!
- Answers - Ruth Oratz, M.D., F.A.C.P. The incidence of breast cancer increases with age, so most breast cancers in the United States, in fact, are diagnosed in women over the age of 50. However, young women can develop breast cancer and particularly young women who are at increased risk for breast cancer because of perhaps a family history. Even in the absence of a strong family history of breast cancer, a young woman who feels lumps in her breasts should definitely seek medical attention. She should see a physician for a careful breast examination. If there's any concern at all about the nature of these lumps or palpable abnormalities, then it should be pursued with further diagnostic evaluation. In a young woman, this might start with an ultrasound of the breast because as you heard, you may see abnormalities more clearly in a young woman in a dense breast using ultrasound. But we do also use mammography in young women, and sometimes MRIs can be helpful in determining the nature of palpable abnormalities in the breast. Women in their 20s, their late 20s in particular, can develop breast cancer. It is not the most common cause of lumps in the breast in young women, but breast cancer can occur in young women so the findings should not be ignored.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Open for Your Questions featured Ruth Oratz, M.D., F.A.C.P. and moderator Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. answering your questions covering a wide variety of issues relating to breast cancer.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2006.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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