Anyone diagnosed in their 20s?

Hi ladies,

After a few private messages with a lady in a similar age as me, we’ve decided to make this an open topic because we’re both interested in finding out how many really young ones are out there battling this terrible illness and how you are coping emotionally etc. We both find there are not so many people in their 20s when diagnosed and would enjoy a bit more company and share our experiences (if you’d like to).

I was diagnosed when I was 24 and went through all sorts of emotions - it doesn’t matter how old we are when diagnosed, but cancer is just something we don’t think about when we are 20 something.

On my initial diagnose, the specialist had to check and double check and re-check my test and scan results just to make sure he has got it right! Too bad that he is right and those results don’t lie.



Interesting I thought about asking the same sort of question. I was 28 when I found my lump and had my bisopsy and mammogram the day before my 29th birthday. I belive there are about 150 people a year diagnosed under 30. I’ve met 2 others, both 26 I think via this site. I think I was the youngest my hospital have had in a long time.

Em x

Hiya, I was 29 when diagnosed but luckily my GP is fab and referred me despite no family history and with my younger age. Many other GP’s probably would have said it was hormonal and told me to come back in a few months.

Whenever people find out I have breast cancer they are shocked, they assume it is another form of cancer.

Paula xx

I was twice your age when I had my first diagnosis. It must realy be sh*ty for you lot. My thoughts are with you. However I have a friend (yes I have a lot, I’m afraid) who had bc at 29. She is now my age and she is fine (had mx, rads and recon, but refused chemo !! Mind you, 25 years ago chemo was worse than now I believe)

Hi everyone,

I was found my lump when I was 23 and was diagnosed a few weeks after my 24th birthday.

I know four or five other girls of a similar age all through here but just didn’t realise how rare we all are… I actually went to one of the younger women’s forums and was the youngest person there by quite a few years and I just assumed there would be other 20 somethings there and there wasn’t… (saying that it was a good weekend and worth the trip!)

Erin x

im 26 and at the end of march was diagnosed with breast cancer.
when i found the lump i went to my GP who suggested it was hormonal especially with there being no family history, i was probably to young for it to be anything serious, he told me come back in a few weeks if its not gone. I went back and saw a different GP who refered me straight away then 4 weeks later after all the tests etc etc i was diagnosed with the dreaded “C” word! ive had a lumpectomy and the first 2 lymph nodes removed, im now waiting for further treatment.
i live in a really small area so consequently im the youngest that they have treated this makes me slightly nervous.
i was really pleased to see that this thread was set up as ive found it really hard to find people my age to speak to, although everybodys diagnosis is different its kind of comforting to know we are not alone.


You’re situation is very similar to mine. I got diagnosed at the end of March and went to a nurse first then a doctor and they both said it was nothing to worry about as I’m only 23! Did you feel unwell before you were diagnosed? I’d been feeling extremely tired.

Anyway, I’m glad I’m such a persistent person as when I got my results I found out it was a grade 3! Do you have to have chemo now? I start my chemo on the 26th.

Hope you’re doing okay.

Amy x x x

Hi ladies, or shall I say girls!

I’m sorry that we’re all dx so young, but feel less lonely now. Hope we can keep each other company on this journey that nobody want to join.

Em - I was also thinking of adding “secondaries” in the title (see my profile). But was worried that I might not get any replies at all!

Paula - I know what you mean when people find out my dx. Most of my friends asked me to get a 2nd opinion or get it re-tested. Ya, ultrasound, maybe. But no way I’m going to do mammogram or biopsies again if I can avoid it. Ouch!! Have read your recent worries on another thread. Really hope you don’t have to jump boat and join me in the secondary club, too. It’s so awful. Will be thinking about you.

Marial - thanks for you input, good to know that your friend is still doing very well after so many years. Really give us new ones some hope.

Erin - I can just imagine your reaction, that must be the worst birthday present ever!

Bluesmurf - good to hear you in “public”! Hope you don’t have to wait too long to start treatment whichever one you and your medical team decide to go for.

Amy - I didn’t feel unwell apart from tiredness. I’ve not had a cold/flu for years before the dx. So, it was such a shock, esp. when landed with a grade 4 / secondaries from the start. Life is just so unfair! What chemo are you going to have? I’ll be thinking about you on the 26th.

Thanks all for joining in and your contributions. Anyone else would like to join, you are very welcome. But I really wish you don’t have to be here in the first place.

Take care xxx

Hiya m1yu,

Had chest xray today and it looks fine, but have to keep an eye on the pain and maybe have a bone scan in a couple of weeks if still painful.

I’m so sorry that you had that type of diagnosis thrown on your lap! As if it is not horrible enough, to be told it’s stage 4 is just not fair at all, for anyone.

Paula xx

Hi, I am 29 and was diagnosed with bc last month. My mum had the disease and unfortunately she did not beat it, and passed away when I was 15. My GP knew my full family history, but because of my age she did not refer me to the breast clinic until almost 2 years after I initially made her aware of it, and only because I kept asking. Even the doctors were very shocked to find that it was bc.
luckily, the bc is still at the early stages and did not spread which was an unimaginable relief. I have just had a lumpectomy and 2 lymph nodes removed, which were clear and am now waiting to start chemo.
I am very upset and scared about the issue of fertility, as I don’t have children yet, and me and my partner were planning to start a family within the next 3 years, which will not be possible now, as I have been told I am going to have to wait until I am around 37 before I can even try for children.
I would be interested in speaking to other young women with bc to help me to come to the best decision as far as reducing the risk for the future is concerned, as I am confused about what to do. I think even after nearly a month of trying to get my head around all of this, I don’t think it has quite sunken in yet and I am finding it very difficult to deal with at the moment. :frowning:

Hi m1yu,

I think my chemo is FEC 6. I have to go every 3 weeks for 18 weeks. I’m not looking forward to it at all!

Sorry to hear yours is a grade 4. I hope you are doing okay.

Amy x x x

hi all,
any of you ladies been treated at the royal marsden, london??
althou ive seen the oncologist at my hospital, he makes me nervous as im the youngest patient with breast cancer he has treated so im off for a second opinion.
hope your all doing ok

beblou: Sorry your GP didn’t take your concern seriously. I had no family history, but my GP was really good. I guess if they still won’t refer me when I’m stage 4, I probably won’t be here now!! Although I’m young, ferility is never my concern (sorry, never liked kids!) But, I’ve noticed a few threads about the subject. You might want to have a look (sorry, if you know this already)

bluesmurf: There’s a thread about royal marsden (again sorry, if you know this already)

I’ve not read none of the threads in detail, so hope they are useful for you.

Amy: FEC is the chemo I’m having at the mo. I’m finding it very hard going esp. only after a 4 months chemo break. My blood is flagging a little bit as well. But it’s probably because my body has taken a lot of damage already during my Paclitaxel chemo. I sailed through that one, so hoping you won’t find it too hard. Any questions you have regarding it, just ask. I believe there’s quite a few thread about it, too.

Paula: hope your pain is better. I knew how difficult is it when these things happen. Hope you won’t need a bone scan but if you do, it comes back clear.

Going to have a rest now, still having a chemo hang over from yesterday.

Take care & keep in touch xx

hi m1yu,
thank you for the thread about royal marsden. got my appointment throu today, its on wednesday morning.
hope your not feeling too bad from yesterday
speak with you soon

Hiya bluesmurf,

I had my bilateral mx and snb done at Fulham road Marsden, they are very good there. The rest of my treatment is being done at Sutton Marsden as I only live about 10 mins away from it. Just had 4th FEC chemo and this one has knocked me over a bit, I think the last 2 were so ok that I hoped they would all be like that! 2 to go!!

For those embarking on chemo, please do mention Emend to help with nausea.

Bebeblou, hello and welcome =( I was very lucky to have 3 kids already when diagnosed, in fact they asked me if I wanted to continue my family to which I said “NO!”. My cancers were very hormone receptive of which was probably (in my mind) helped along nicely with being pregnant…who knows?! I would try and sit down and have a good conversation with your consultant about this as they could go down the egg freezing stage like some other women have done on this website. It may well be that as you are so young still that your fertility will return?

Paula xx

I was diagnosed on 13th May 2010 and all of the doctors and nurses at Bath hospital and my local docters were very shocked because of my age. The doctors thought that it was a cyst that needed to be drained and then i went to the hopsital and they confirmed it was a lump but that it would be nothing to worry about. A week later i was told the dreaded news and I had an MRI scan the next day and am waiting for my results which will come out on thursday. Im nervous waiting for the results as every time i have been to the doctors and hospital, the news has got worse and worse. I cant beleive that only 150 people are diagnosed with cancer in their 20’s - thats unbelievable. I have just managed to get the confidence to look and join this website to help understand certain situations but its very difficult to understand.

Hi superjem,

Welcome to the site, but of course I’m so sorry that you’ve found yourself here.

You must still be in shock so soon after your diagnosis. Nearly a year now after my diagnosis last June, it still felt like a bad dream and I just hope that one day I will wake up and it will all go away. When I’m having some bad days, it felt like that it’s never going to end. But it WILL! Take whatever help and support that’s offered to you.

Waiting for results is always the worst bit for me. Will be thinking about you on Thur.

I’m in Bristol, so not very far from you.

Take care & keep in touch xx

Hi, I was dignosed when I was 29 back in September 2009. I was referred by my GP who was great, the main thing i was worried about was the fact I had worked as a secretary for the breast screening service about 6 years beforehand & I felt anxious about stripping off & being “man handled” by male doctors who I had worked with in the past, I wasnt really expecting or worried about them finding cancer as I had no family history & I was young so the risk was quite low. I got the bombshell news that day although had to wait 2 weeks on getting an MRI scan which was the most horrendous experience. I had a lumpectomy at the beginning of October with the results being positive that the Grade 2 cancer was removed with good margins & my nodes were clear then I had a bumper amount of radiotherapy. I am lucky not to have to have chemo. I was put on tamoxifen which made me really ill & not able to eat so I have had to come off that & be put on Zoladex injections monthly & I am currently exploring getting eggs frozen for fertility in the future just in case my ovaries dont go back to normal funtion although I had to push to get referred for this. So I am a menopausal freak at the moment with hot flushes every 45mins & should not have to be worrying whether I will be able to have kids in the future or not because of the treatment for this cancer!!! I have also got lymphodema in my breast which has just appeared 5 months since my op which is frustrating. Emotionally I have been struggling lately as people tend not to believe me when I say I have breast cancer, it took me about 5-10mins to convince my boss - why would I mke it up!! Its really nice to know there are other young women out there going through the same. I went to a young womens forum which was really great but I still felt really young compared with the majority of ladies who were there, it must be worse to be in your early 20’s when diangosed though.

Ali xx

hi all, i was diagnosed in 2008 when i was 22. New i was very high risk as my mum and nan and great gran all got bc in 20’s so new when i found the lump what it was! Didnt have to have chemo as i caught it so early, just hormone therapy but had to have a double mast so i wouldnt get another primary in the future! That was 2 years ago in june, my gp referred me to specialist straight away, i know that alot of gp’s would not as of my age at the time so i was lucky really. Hope that everyone is keeping well x x

Hope you don’t mind me joining your thread, I was dx at 30, after seeing a doctor 8 months previous (when 29), who confidently told me it was nothing to worry about, just a muscle strain!?!?!?! - I decided to go back again in March of this year and saw a different doctor, he also told me it was nothing, and only through me persisting did he refer me - thank goodness I did stand my ground, it had already spread to my lymph nodes - but thankfully no further. Due to start chemo this Friday, and getting pretty scared! - and i’ve no changed doctors surgery!

I too am extrememly concerned about my fertility as have no children yet and would definately like a family - but must remember, I have to get better first at whatever cost, no good if I not around to raise the children I so desperately want.

Something has to be done about complacent doctors - just because we’re young - it does happen to us,

Carly x