21 with breast cancer and new to this

Hi I’m 21 years old and someone told me to visit this and I disnt realise how many people would be on here
And how many young people are actually affected! I got diagnosed in late November, with invasive ductual cancer in my right breast! I had the lump removed and lymph which was positive which meant a second operation! I then had the fertility treatment and now my chemotherapy starts on Friday followed by radiotherapy! I’ve taken it really really well my future worries me, with children and re occurance! And loosing my hair scares me as I’m a hair dresser I think it’s just abit more scary ! I don’t know I’m sure il be fine… It’s just interesting to read about others! X


You have come to the right place for support and to talk about what is going on with people who know what it is like (although not many as young as yourself)

I was diagnosed in September 2010, at the age of 34. I also went through the fertility treatment before chemo as I am single, I know what you mean about the future being unclear, but the best thing to do is just focus on one step at a time, you seem to be doing well so far.

My hair has grown back really well (photo is out of date)(although it is curly when it was dead straight before) it is really soft and it is like having a really intensive treatment on it, as it has no split ends and is not tired from hairdriers, etc, it has not been in such good condition for years.

If you have any questions this is a really good place to ask them, no question is silly and someone has normally been through it already. Also try not to google, as the info can’t be relied on.

Fingers crossed that the rest of your treatment goes well.


Hi…My mum finished chemo before christmas and i have just read your post to her. Her advice to you about hair loss is to try your very best to battle through cold cap if you have been offered it. She has done this and it has worked for her. Her hair has got quite a bit thinner but to anybody who didn’t know then you wouldn’t notice. She said although it is an uncomfortable experience it is only the first 15 mins or so until you get used to it and it can be worth it.
Hope this helps, all the best!

hi Shivvy

sorry you had to join us, but welcome to the site!a diagnosis at 21 must have been horrific. mine at 36 was a massive shock so i can only imagine what it would have been like at 21. there is a thread for younger women diagnosed in their tewnties which you might be interested to read. i will hunt it out and bump it up the forum for you. good luck with your chemo


Wow thankyou! It really does help knowing others have gone through it! I am already on Nioxin treatments as I’m a hairdresser I knew already about it so I’m going to try that
I did ask about the cold cap but they said it was quite uncomfortable and painful so thought I’d give it a miss but if she says it’s not to bad I may think about it x

Shiv, I’m ancient (relatively speaking, I’m 49) and you’re younger than my daughter, so I just want to send you an enormous hug because this BC stuff really sucks. It sucks even more for the young women like yourself whose friends are all thinking about fun, parties and frolicking and behave as if they’re immortal, because your friends just can’t get their heads round it all. I would really like to wrap you in a massive fluffy towel fresh from the hot press and give you a great big cuddle.


ps forgot to say, BCC runs younger women’s forums, see what’s around in your area. Give the helpline a ring in the morning and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.


Hi Shiv,
sorry u have also been diagnosed, i was diagnosed at the age of 24 back in 2005,I underwent a radical mastectomy with a reconstruction i had 2 years of treatment but coped very well with it well the radiotherapy a little harder as it was just so tiring going to the hospital every bloody day :frowning: but i think cos we r younger r bodies seem to cope better with treatments than maybe if we were much older.
Im guessing for u fertility is a big issue that’s one of the main issues for us younger women, i wanted to have fertility treatment done but because my cancer spreads with hormones i was strongly advised not too :frowning: this was devastating for me and i found this news harder to except than being told i had cancer.
What treatment are u on now?? i still have treatment every 3 weeks still after all these years feels like i spend so much of my life at the hospital.
I don’t know if u have heard that breast cancer care do a younger women’s 2 nights away at a hotel u get to meet other younger women and see how they cope what treatments they r on etc its really worth going on they have people who come in and do talks throughout the two days so u find out a lot of very helpful information and its just really nice to finally meet other younger women in the same situation as ourselves.
Sending u all my love im sure at times u feel very isolated being so young with Bc i know i did but there are so many of us younger ones on here so if u need any help or advice don’t hesitate to ask
Love Clairemm xxxxx

Thanks chocciemuffin and claiemm! I’m doing good ATM
My best friend is great as she will always stay with me or arrange something I can go to but yeh it can be difficult sometimes when everyone’s planning all these nights out and weekends away n I can’t give an answer but I’m determined to still get out even tho I can’t drink n have to be careful! I did see about the young people’s forum but I wasn’t sure, I didn’t think is be one to go and Wana meet others at first but even just doing this helps abit talking to people who’s been through it! Iv actually had 2 operations just to remove the lump n lymph nodes and I start chemotherapy tomorrow which I’m getting more nervous the nearer it comes! But it what we have to do so… N then I have a months of radiotherapy which I’m not looking forward to the travelling everyday like you say x

Hi Shivvy1990

Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care forums, I am sorry t read of your recent diagnosis. Along with the support you have here if you would like to talk to someone please do give the BCC helpline a call on 0808 800 6000. Here you can talk through any questions you may have and the staff will be able to offer you emotional support as well as practical infromation. The lines are open 9-5 mon-fri and 9-2 sat.

I am also posting a link to the BCC younger women’s information page where you will find publications and support ideas specifically for younger women with breast cancer which I hope you will find useful:


Best wishes Sam, Facilitator

Hi Shivvy
Firstly a big hug, you are being amazing about this.
We all worry about the hair situation I think above anything else in the beginning BUT let me assure you that when and if it happens , you do accept it .
I have always had hair that people commented on cos its so dark and thick . I tried the cold cap for the first 3 sessions but for me it didn’t work. But cos i tried it my hair has come out gradually so I have found that less trumatic.
You WILL get through this , it is amazing what we can cope with when we have to.

Hi Shivvy,

I just wanted to send you lots of positive vibes and hugs. You are a strong womand and as you suspect I am sure you will be fine. Reading your post was really inspirational, so thanks for posting! Keep us updated on how it’s all going.

Massive hugs,

Carmy xxx