Is this necessarily a bad thing?

Is this necessarily a bad thing?

Is this necessarily a bad thing? I read on ceefax today that young women are mistakenly under the impression that Breast Cancer is more likely to affect women under the age of 70 due to the so-called Kylie effect. Where celebrities with BC receive such media coverage that the public think it must be the norm.

Whilst I wouldn’t want anyone to worry unnecessarily half of me thinks that at least people would be taking things like breast changes seriously and not thinking that they are ‘too young’ to get BC.

Breast cancer among young women IS increasing I also think anything which helps convince people that breast cancer can and does, frequently happen to the under 50s is a good thing.

BCC is as guilty as any organisation in playing down the problems of breast cancer in younger women - e.g. the “80% over 50” campaign was, in my view, overdone. Anything which suggests an arbitary age for being to worry about breast cancer is clearly wrong and we need to get young women comfortable that they do know how to examine themselves. Self examination doesn’t happen, because of a mixture of factors including inhibition and frankly, being clueless what to look for.

As so many GPs miss breast lumps, what chance does a woman who has only experienced her own breasts, have of detecting something abnormal? it is so easy and cheap to give us all a guilt complex that we should have spooted problems by ourselves.

It is well known that it is harder to detect breast cancer in younger women using mammograms and hence, it is often missed for ages, until they are eventually diagnosed at Stage IV (i.e. with secondaries and terminal). There are other techniques that could be used to check younger women but of course, they are expensive.

Even mammograms could pick up more cases early, if the routine age for screening was dropped maybe 5 years to begin with?

I was well under 50 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had absolutely no idea as I had no lump (flat lobular) or any of the usual symptoms you are told to look out for. I went to my GP when I had a swelling in my armpit, which was a small tumour in my lymph glands. Fortunately, my GP acted very quickly in getting me into oncology and I had a long period of remission after primary treatment…

When my routine over 50s mammogram was offered, I had, unfortunately, already got secondaries. So, bit late for me?

As the incidence in young women gets worse ANYTHING that raises their awareness has to be in their interest. Read of a lady who caused her friends to get a mammo by not wearing her wig at a publicity event- what a favour she did them! Just wish the NHS would notice there are increasing numbers of under 50s in the stats and would take action to check them earlier. dilly

I couldn’t agree more - a good thing As a younger woman (32 on 6th November to be precise), I am more conscious than I have ever been of my changing breasts. I think the GPs and specialists alike are more worried about the ‘potential wasted time’ rather than the potential ‘life saving’ they can do by early detection; irrelevant of the age. My family history is strong (BRCA2 mutations confirmed); and I for one will not feel guilty for wasting any of their ‘precious time’ if I have any doubts in my mind of changes in my breasts. This latest report of ‘younger’ people being overworried, perhaps unnecessarily, is the best publicity. Any of us could get breast cancer - even the likes of Kylie, Anastasia and numerous other celebs; it’s not prejudice and it holds no prisoners - no matter the age.

The earlier you detect the better - that’s the only point that really needs to be made - don’t you agree?

Best wishes to you all


I completely agree with everything that has been said… …It infuriates me when i hear about ‘‘younger women’’ not being at so much risk etc.,
I think every woman needs to breast aware no matter what age, i speak to a young girl who was dx at 18 nearly finished her chemo and has been told that another lump she found last week is cancerous, she’s having a masectomy next week, followed by more chemo etc.,
i was 43 when dx, have been told my daughter will be screened when she is 5 years younger than i was at dx…not really good enough i feel, but fortunately she is very breast aware.


Completely agree I am 47 and was diagnosed with breast cancer on 1st August this year. I was diagnosed at the local breast clinic after insisting that my GP refer me. I’ d gone back a second time, concerned about the lump in my breast after a female doctor at the practice said she did n’t feel a referral was necessary as she was sure that it was just a cyst. (presumably in view of the fact I’m under 50) In the space of 2 months from my first visit and ending up at the breast clinic, my one lump had developed into two and I was subequently diagnosed with tumours that totalled 7cm in size. I’ve had a mastectomy and am now going through chemo. I should have been low risk. No family history, not over weight, don’t smoke, low fat vegetarian diet, regular exercise, etc, etc. The fact is that all of these factors are just statistics based on averages, they’re not absolutes that give any of us security from cancer. Any woman can get breast cancer at any age. It has made me realise that the profesionals are fallible as they don’t know as much as we al assume they would know. One thing I’ve found is that I now fall into a sort of “no man’s land”. most of the professionals regard “older” women as over 50 and “younger” women are under 45. Even Breast Cancer Care has it’s younger women’s groups for those under 45. In between you’re sort of undefined. does this mean I’m old when I reach fiftyand I’ll know which slot to fit into?

geraldine- no it doesn’t mean you’re old. It’s that the pros can’t do sums! dilly

dilly… …with you on that one !!!


kylie effect I hope that Kylie having BC is making younger women more aware of it affecting them too - its so not an age disease. I was diagnosed on my 33rd birthday (happy birthday to me!!), and I had had the lump for 6 months- having been told it previously it was benign.
The only reason I found the lump was its position - right where my pendant sits - or who knows how long it would have been before treatment. I encourage all my friends to examine themselves - or go to the Well Woman clinic but my sphere of influence is small - Kylie has the opportunity to reach millions - lets hope she gets through…


same here Same here, I encourage my friends to examine themselves and not to be fobbed off by their GPs. Being a bit stroppy and/or pushy could make all the difference betweeen being okay and getting into a mess.

Ladies, you are SO RIGHT Hello all,

Hope your day’s are treating you as well as they can.

I couldn’t agree more with what you have all said here. When my girl went to our GP with her lump, she was told that it couldn’t be anything to worry about as she is only 31 and BC only becomes a concern over the age of 35! This was after explaining that her Mum is now very ill with BC and her Nan and Great grandmother had passed due to BC and ovarian. He still wasn’t interested.

He told us that there was no point making an urgent referral and don’t worry (in a patronising tone).

It was only when I had to play the stroppy husband and demanded that the urgent referral be completed that he even moved in the right direction. Let’s just say I wasn’t making any friends that day!

After calling the local Breast Care Centre in Chelmsford every day did we get an appointment and she was then diagnosed. Don’t get me wrong our local centre couldn’t have been better, and the care they have given since has been top class and I owe them so much for looking after my girl.

However, it does infuriate me so when you hear this brushed away and that it isn’t an issue in your 30s. It came to light that we had caught this in time as there was no node involvement. If we had taken his advice, we would only have been seen for a FNA in early July, by which time she had had a mastectomy and was recovering at home. I shudder to think what the outcome would have been then. What worries me is how many other people have been told the same as he told my girl and they accepted it as a solid opinion?

Anyway, I have droned on for long enough now.

Take care of yourselves.


this subject rattles me ! If we all, as survivors/patients of Breast Cancer (and other cancers) lobby the local press - and if poss’ the national press - maybe we could get the message across to the Health Sector and Health Minister and MP’s.

We as women will not take this lying down, we deserve to have earlier screening - regardless of age. Our health should not be at risk because of cost! What price is health? Many of us know, because many of us have been touched by Cancer in some form or other through ourselves, family and friends (male and female) and know of the personal costs, but why should we have a price on our health?

i since found out this Tues (at gentics) that the MRI scans are a more feasable way of detecting cancer cells, but, it still isnt on offer as a screening process for us under 50!

Sadly, this is a political issue, as with many things when we are faced with ‘the lack of resources’. Cancer cost the government money!

we are constantly being told to be breast aware - and thankfully many of us are - but, the sad thing is the GP’s are not being encouraged to refer younger women to Breast Clinics, instead they are diagnosing themselves / offering antibiotics / or asking us to come back again ! WHAT ? my situ was different, my GP reffered me as urgent - it was the hospital system that let me down the first time. it was 3mths b4 i was properly seen to then dx

After reading an article in Amoena Mag it was to my relief it wasnt just me who felt let down by the system, but to my disbelief at how big an issue it was!

Cancer should NOT be categorised into age groups, how many times do the the Health Sector and all the cancer charites need to be told this?

I am sorry, I had better finish at this point, the whole thing makes me so angry.


loadsa luv xxxxxxxxxxxx

WELL SAID… …nothing to add except agreement with all you said ‘A’.

karen xxxx

A real life horror story A young woman my mother was in hospital with had been to her doctor repeatedly complaining of a lump in her breast. Her own mother and other family members had died young of breast cancer but still the doctor refused to take her seriously.

After ‘pestering’ several doctors etc. she was finally referred to a pyschiatrist who made her write out one hundred times I DO NOT HAVE CANCER.

It is impossible to take in how another human being could be treated with such contempt and humiliated in this fashion.

When she was subsequently diagnosed the cancer was so far advanced that she was forced to have a mastectomy.

She tried to sue the health authority, not for the money but to try and ensure that nothing like this ever happened again but mysteriously her records had disappeared.

Sadly she is no longer with us leaving behind a grieving husband and a young child - a daughter, left to fear her own future.

what a sad story, how can anyone be treated so badly?

No one deserves to be treated in such a manner - regardless of age

it sickens me, to the pit of my stomach that, the younger we are, some GPs and ‘experts’ feel they have to right to deter us from being screened or checked out properly.

i had a similar experience. my first time around, the ‘specialist’ i saw was a female who dared to say to me (after giving me a biopsy) “i dont think its anything b’coz i couldnt get anything from the lump. i wouldnt worry, if u dont hear anything within in 10 days or more then no news is good news

i was lived and told her, ‘how dare you say such a thing to me when its me who has this unknown lump in my breast. if i continue with such an attitude as yours and it turns out to be cancer, it would be harder for me to deal with’

i was so annoyed that she was so blase about my situ. it was after that that i my files went missing and i wasnt called for until almost 3mths later. AFTER i had been for a mammo and i asked the mammo doc if she had seen my notes. to which she replied ‘no’ and was disgusted that i hadnt been seen to or recalled during that time!

a week later i was called for a core biopsy, cos the chief consultant was ‘suspicious’ - but gary and i werent aware that that was the reason i had to go back to the clinic!

a week later i was diagnosed and was told - matter of factly - that a “slot was made for me to have a lumpectomy or mastectomy and that i had to make a decision; there and then; what type of op i wanted! I “couldn’t have recon as there wasn’t enough time to have one

my life was turned upside down within minutes and no one seemed to care. I was on the clinic conveyer belt – convinced I could hear the phrase ‘next’.

Its unfair that women under the age of 50 should be fobbed off in such a way.

My heart goes out to that ladies family and really feel that the dox concerned with her case should be SHOT !

Fuming but with kisses to you all

adele x