At one time, breast cancer was considered to be a postmenopausal disease, although there were exceptions. Many countries only offer routine mammograms to women over the age of 50 or even 55, as younger women are perceived to be less vulnerable to the condition.
However, there have been some high profile cases of breast cancer in younger women. Singer Kylie Minogue was struck down with the disease at the age of 36, but has now been clear of cancer for 5 years. However, former Miss Venezuela Eva Elkvall succumbed to breast cancer in December, 2011 at the age of just 28, leaving a husband and two-year-old daughter.
Why is breast cancer striking at more and more young women? Is it diet? Lifestyle? Sexual history? What do you think?
I think with the changes in the world, the diseases are now evolving as well. Of course lifestyle plays a major influence, too. I've noticed this change as well. My grandma died of breast cancer in her 60's and a friend's Mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and she's just in her 40's. Diseases are now unpredictable. Good thing, people are now coming up with boosters and vaccines against some diseases such as the HPV shot. I hope scientists can also come up with vaccinations against all sorts of cancer which is one of the leading causes of death in the world.
She's a former beauty queen and usually these beauty queens follow strict healthy diet regimen but then she still died of cancer. I think it has to do with her lifestyle afterwards. I'm not sure what could be one of the greatest factors for developing breast cancer.
I think that there are genetic factors as well as environmental factors that effect who gets cancer, what kind of cancer a person gets, and whether a person get it at all. I don't think that it is one or the other, but rather a combination of both that cause cancer to become present in one's body.
I think that a lot of it also has to do with our own lifestyle; what we out into our body, how active we are, how much stress we have in our lives, etc.
I think that the fact thatit seems to be more prominent in younger women is probably due to the fact that women seem to do things that effect their bodies negatively at younger ages than they once did, in addition to the environmental factors that have also worsened over the years. Women 40 years ago weren't exposed to as much pollution on a daily basis as younger women of today are; pollution has only gotten worse over the years due to more modern ways of life; such as, more people owning cars, etc.
I could be way off with my theory, but I think that it really does make sense when you stop and think about it.
Lynnemg, your theory on pollution makes as much sense as anything else I've read on the subject, and also lifestyle factors. I think alcohol probably plays a major part in many instances. Years ago, it just wasn't socially acceptable for women to drink, but these days, it's more or less expected. The truth is, even the so-called experts don't really know all that much about cancer - particularly breast cancer.
I think there could be something to the idea that pollution can have some impact on younger women having breast cancer. I think environmental factors are quite real. I also wonder if it has to do with the ways foods are processed too.
I agree with the genetics comments. I am BRCA2 + as is my mother and my sister. I am sure my grandmother was too. Anyway, the biggest issue is that BRCA is still considered a postmenopausal issue and as this thread points out, it is not always an "older women's" disease. But because it is still considered one, insurance companies are not willing to pay for women under 40 mammograms.
Research suggests that if you had a mother or grandmother with breast cancer, to count back 10 years and that is when you should start getting mammograms.
So for my sister and I, that was 22 years old! Well, needless to say, we had to pay out of pocket if we wanted to get a mammogram despite the family history. I am hearing little rumblings that insurance companies may start budging on this policy soon if the Dr. requesting the mammogram shows a familial history or you are BRCA positive. For my daughter and my sons' sake, I hope that is the case.
So the point of my post is one of frustration but also to fight your insurance companies to get mammograms done before the age of 40 if you have a family history!
I think it should all be part of a well-woman check anyway, starting at 18 years old.
I think there could be a mixture of genetics and we have to look at what we are consuming. Even if she did eat healthy, most fruits and vegetables have pesticides on them, our water has additives and a lot of food is genetically modified. We are now consuming a lot of soy and that changes our hormone levels. There is so much happening with our food system that wasn't present 50 years ago.