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Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Totally agree about the 'breast cancer doesn't hurt' comment from docs/health care professionals. Mine did, and for that I am thankful, as that's when I knew something was very wrong. One week later, the nipple started retracting and I went to see my doctor, who confirmed after lumpectomy that it was grade 2 IDC. Unfortunately I have also since been disgnsed with DCIS in the 'good' breast. I have no family history and am 31. It happens to us, and the sooner the world recognises that it is happening, then the more we can prevent later stage disgnosis of young womens' breast cancer. It isn't something we should be dying of.

A 'Dove' style campaign would be amazing. I am already a media volunteer with BCC and am part of Tors' group on FB, which has been an absolute godsend; I really would have felt incredibly lonely without those women on there. I have a friend who had breast cancer a couple of years ago, but she luckily did not need chemo or rads, which I do. She also does not want children, which I do. Having women that I can talk to about these issues is doing more for my mental health than talkign to a professional. I'm grateful that everything is being done to try and rid me of this for ever, but am equally as grateful to the support groups out there for younger women. I have certainly raised awareness in my group of friends and colleagues, who now all check themselves regularly.

I'll definitely be behind any campaign to raise awareness of this, 100%.
raonaid
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

I agree with the beckster33 and Manny. I was diagnosed at 37, 8 months pregnant, the mammogram showed nothing cause the breast tissue was dense. But the ultrasound was great showed it clearly. I think a quick ultrasound would be better for younger women and not expose them to radiation like a mamogram would and gets around the dense breast tissue
I think that health visitors need to balance the pro breast feeding message. I've seen the posters in the health centre stating 'breast feeding can protect you from cancer' and I think they are very misleading. and gives a false sense of security. One of my friends actually said that she was'nt worried and did'nt check herself because she had breast feed both her kids.

Mindy63
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

The only silver lining in finding out I had breast cancer was being described as a younger woman...at 49!
I had been having regular screening as my sister had breast cancer at 33 (14 years ago-she survived all the treatment and had another baby-so good news there). I felt i was being very dilligent and was diagnosed with dcis 5-6 years ago. I had tissue removed and radiotherapy but counted myself very lucky.
I continued to have regular mamograms which were all clear. A very astute doctor felt something abnormal when examining me and to cut a long story short turns out it is breast cancer.
I did not know that mamograms do not pick up 20% of cancers. I think this needs to be more widely publicised-esp for younger woman with more dense breasts. Had I know, I may have found the lump earlier and avoided chemo

tors
Member

Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hiya Swoot. Thanks for the post, I couldn't agree more with what you have said. The Facebook group is great for me just by it's existence, as seeing the profile pics of younger women from around the country who have also had breast cancer really does make me feel less isolated, and normalises it to an extent. A the moment I am just concentrating on the Fb group as it is taking up quite a lot of time, but already it is becoming self sustaining, with lots of comments and chat, and some ladies who live local to one another are arranging a meet up, which has made me really chuffed.

Breast cancer care are doing a live chat for younger women next week (22 nov), it's their first one for younger women I think, there is a regular one for people with a secondary diagnosis which I believe is very helpful and well used. Young ladies need to connect, and this might be one way of doing it, without what you say ending up so public to all and sundry.

I think that main cancer hospitals should make more effort to join up young ladies in their area, at different units, going through this at the same time. I think a younger ladies awareness campaign next pinktober would be fantastic, and I am hopeful that BCC may get on board with that. It would be great to have help and support from you, thank you xxx

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Tors, what a great idea - I feel very strongly that there is a big gap around BC for younger women. Both in making them aware that they are at risk too, but also in supporting them while they are going through treatment. Reading through the posts on this thread I am afrad to say that I am glad there are other people who seem to be in a similar position to me. Obv I'm not glad that they have BC, but glad to know that I'm not on my own. I was diagnosed aged 35 earlier this year while breastfeeding my 8 month old. I have 1 round of chemo left to go before I then have surgery, rads and hormone therapy. My surgeon refused to operate while I was still lactating(!). I started my treatment while on matnerity leave and am now back at work 3 days a week while I continue it.

It's not just dealing with having cancer, it's dealing with having cancer and getting on with life, a young baby, parents, siblings, friends, etc. Everyone who knows has been shocked and suprised that I (and therefore they) could get it. I am trying to keep things as normal as possible - I haven't told everyone, I'm having the cold cap, but people who haven't seen me for a while keep asking what I've done to my face. Nothing I say, without mentioning that it could be becuase I have no eyelashes or eyebrows left.

Let me know what I can do to help!
tors
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Thanks for commenting everybody. Do any other younger ladies want to add their views? X

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

I have been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30 expecting my first child.
The only reason I found the lump was because I sprained my shoulder when going shopping. Sprain went but my lump didn't. Now my Mum had DCIS so I had niggling doubts about the lump hence why I went to my GP. My GP didn't think it was anything but had to refer me (by procedure) and her husband (my breast consultant) didn't think it was anything but they had to do a biopsy.
Admittedly and I don't mean to be rude but my husband checks my breasts. He never felt anything. I think the only reason it 'moved' was because of the pregnancy perhaps. I don't know.
I have seen campaigns on TV (BBC three I think) about how to check your boobs and may be this should be something discussed at smears etc. more (not just a leaflet). Who's going to read a leaflet. Women need to be shown.
Since diagnosis I have pretty much drummed into all my friends, family and colleagues that they should get themselves, friends and families checked for anything suspicious.
Sorry this post probably wasn't much help. Just glad I got my lump checked when I did as mine was a grade 3 HER 2 positive cancer.
Just trying to get through chemo with a baby on the way now. xx
tors
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Ahh you're welcome alix x

AlixJ
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

I have a friend who is a health visitor, she always talks to young mums about breast checking but this obviously isn't standard. I like the idea of a 'breast' that can be used to show women how to check - I was pretty breast aware as my mum died of post menopausal BC, but wasn't able to feel my lump. I went to my GP because I was aware of changes that could be seen ('orange peel' skin and change in breast shape). The health profs were able to feel the lump, so perhaps with better advice on how to check I would have found it sooner.
I think the idea of a Dove style campaign aimed at younger women is a great one. Thanks Tors for starting this thread (and the facebook page - go girl!)
Alix xx
Queenrefusenik
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

This is just a thought I had, apologies if its already been suggested, but what about a breast cancer buddy scheme in hospitals where breast care nurses could put younger women in touch with someone of a similar age locally with whom they can share their breast cancer experiences.
Being diagnosed at a young age with breast cancer whilst all your friends are getting married, buying houses, moving abroad, having kids is an isolating experience enough as it is, but when you are 20 years younger than everyone else in the chemo suite and 40 years younger than others undergoing breast surgery you can be left feeling utterly utterly alone. Whilst family and friends may be hugely supportive, they can never fully understand the process you are going through and the emotions therein.
Such a scheme would've benefitted me greatly and I did ask my nurses if I could be put in touch with someone my age who was happy to talk about their experiences. However, because there was no formal mechanism in place for facilitating this nothing ever came of it despite me being told that there were lots of people my age in the area who would be happy to chat.
tors
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Thank you for reading and commenting ladies. Have a look at another thread, how did you find your lump/symptoms which highlights further the lack of awareness in younger women and , scarily, the medical profession.


http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/community/forums/how-did-you-find-your-lumpsymptoms

amd66
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Well done tors, i've added the fb photo, i am also top end of being young, 45. It seems its so common nowadays and mammograms need to be brought down in the age they start. I found mine just watching tv, and although small it had already gone to a grade 3. i could have so easily just ignored it.
Brady40
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

I'm going to be completely honest here and say that I would not have gone to the doctors with my lump unless my dad had died of cancer a year ago and my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in june this year at the age of 36. It took that to make me really have a good rummage around my boobs and notice an area that felt a bit dodgy. When I googled "what does a breast cancer lump feel like?" the results I got made me assume my lump was a breast mouse and absolutely fine... but because of my sister I had the motivation to take myself to the GP.

My GP was fab and sent me to the rapid diagnosis clinic - but even when I go there the consultant struggled to feel the lump in the standard "lie down with your arm raised position" and I felt a bit silly trying to convince her something felt wrong. She did send me for an ultra-sound and obviously turns out that sadly I was right...

I don't think there is nearly enough awareness among younger girls - I even had a grandmother diagnosed at age 37 and didn't appreciate what that meant in terms of my risk.

Now I have been diagnosed I am finding a lack of support specific to my age group. My breast care nurse is fine enough but not really in tune with my issues and I am the youngest person in the waiting room by a country mile (I'm 33). I have found the fertility team (am attempting IVF to freeze embryos) to have been the most empathetic and understanding of my concerns (regarding the cancer itself and the associated fertility issues) of all the health professionals I have seen so far. I'm sure this is because they are more used to interacting with my younger age group.
Queenrefusenik
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

When Kylie Minogue was diagnosed with cancer 7years ago at the age of 36 the world shook. How could someone so young be diagnosed with breast cancer? How dreadful. How awful. And yes it was, but what happened? Where was the public campaign by charities to raise awareness amongst younger women and health care professionals about breast cancer in women under 40? I never saw it, neither did my friends. And here i am seven months on from my cancer diagnosis thinking just what a difference such a campaign wouldve made to my life. it wouldn't have stopped me from being diagnosed with cancer, but i might have been more alert as to what to have looked for and been diagnosed much much earlier.
It would be brilliant if BCC could launch an awareness campaign to tie in with the 10th anniversary of the younger women's forum, not just to promote breast awareness in younger women but health care professionals too. I didnt think i was at risk from breast cancer, neither did my GP...how wrong we both were.
tors
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

One idea is to add to the current young women's treatment pathway, such as the chemo sheets specifically drafted with younger ladies in mind, and good practice by medics to include facilitating links between younger women diagnosed within the same, and neighbouring, treatment centres. And maybe BCC merit awards for units who actively do this would be a possibility?

tors
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi everyone, just bumping up this thread so anyone who has not seen it or commented on it can do so. Thanks xxx

thebeckster33
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi All,
I was diagnosed in 2010, 4 days before my second child's 1st birthday. I was still breastfeeding him and was 28 years old. My daughter was 18 months old. It was such a shock to me as there is no family history of breast cancer. All the information given to women says that having children whilst quite young and breastfeeding will keep you safe from breast cancer. Obviously not in my case! I had to quickly stop breastfeeding before my surgery. In fact my surgeon said that I was leaking milk as they cut into me. My surgery was followed by chemo and losing my hair (which didn't really bother me too much until it started to grow back then my eyelashes and eyebrows fell out!) and then 5/6 weeks of radiotherapy. This was then followed by 12 months of Herceptin which I was surprised to find was administered through a drip every 3 weeks. For some reason I had been under the impression these were tablets. I finished all of my treatments earlier this year. I have been back at work for 15 months and was just starting to feel like a normal person again. I went for a routine breast MRI a couple of weeks ago, got called in for a follow up scan. Had 6 biopsies taken at this scan in the opposite breast to my previous cancer. I today received a telephone call asking me to go in on Wednesday morrning. I am absolutely gutted. My thoughts are that if there was nothing to worry about I would have been told over the phone. Whatever happens I will fight this. I have to for my babies.
Young women need to be told of the dangers. I feel very fortunate that my beast cancer was painful. I did not regularly check myself. All the information I have found says that breast cancer is not usually painful. If mine had not been then I'm not sure I would even be here now, ready to fight again if need be.
I am trying to raise awareness at my place of work where many young women work and am trying to raise money for BCC in the process. If 1 young woman finds a cancer early because of people putting in the effort then it is effort well spent. It can mean extra days, months or years with their families.
Sending love to all affected by cancer xxx

tors
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi manny,

Glad you posted, thank you.

It's tricky how to advise pregnant ladies or new mums without freaking them out because you feel so vulnerable anyway then, but there must be a way, and the medical profession (gps, midwives, consultants, health visitors,practice nurses etc) CERTAINLY need telling, as they really really do not know. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are thought to lower your lifetime risk of breast cancer, and that's what sticks in people's minds, including the medics, but as yo say, it's the temporarily raised risk around pregnancy that is unknown.

I think we need young women to have breast exams/leaflets given to them at smear test appointments, and it to be broached in pre natal /post natal literature in hospital too.

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

As a young woman who was diagnosed age 30 whilst breastfeeding my then 8 mth old I gree with everything the ladies have said here. I am also a medic, yet until I had BC, even I did not know that there is actually a transiently risk during the pregnancy and breastfeeding period. I remember asking on here if anyone could thing how we could educate the breastfeeding community to make sure they self check, without putting people off breastfeeding. I am very probreastfeeding as well.
If there was anyway of reaching this group of people it would be so worthwhile! So many people get delayed diagnosis due to age. I was very lucky and my GP sent me 2WW immediately, so many breastfeeding women are told it is a blocked duct for weeks before referral. Any delay in diagnosis can mean metastatic disease in a group of patients that are already at risk of aggressive forms of BC.
I need to have a look at the link to the picture.
Thanis for posting Tors xx
tors
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Thanks for posting that Leah, I'll follow the link and have a read.

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Cosmopolitan featured this story on Friday as part of their support for Breast Cancer Care this month http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/lifestyle/why-we-are-turning-friday-pink-for-breast-cancer-awareness-month
It features Joanne, who was diagnosed at 26.

tors
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Brill, thanks Leah. We have over 40 younger ladies on our Facebook group now, all at different stages and from all over the uk. As soon as you look at the drop down list of the profile pics of the members, it makes you realise that you aren't alone, and you aren't a freakoid. There are a lot of us on board to move to change things a bit, like getting chemo info sheets aimed at younger women etc, so anything we can do to help, we would love to.

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Still working on it, tors, but hoping to be able to do something of a focus on younger women towards the end of November, to tie in with the 10th anniversary of our Younger Women's Forums. Will keep you posted.

tors
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi Leah, just wondered if any powers that be have done any powers that be magic stuff yet about this?

raechi
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Thanks Leah - i got it 🙂

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi Rae,

The Press team received your email yesterday and is just about to ask you to fill out our media volunteering form, so that we have all of your information on file and can match your experience to opportunities in magazines and newspapers. Thanks very much for getting involved.


raechi
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

I e-mailed to become a media volunteer...how quicly do they get in touch?
Thanks,
Rae

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Not got much time to post but I wholeheartedly agree with all that has been said. I'm 30 with 1.5cm IDC, widespread DCIS and some positive nodes. I was a self checker and my tumour grew very quickly and had already started to spread so imagine if I hadn't been breast aware.
Live the idea of a Dove style ad!
Kerry xx
tors
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Absolutely shameless bumping up of own thread....

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Thought people on this thread might be interested to see this article in the Sun today about Annalisa, who was diagnosed at 33. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/real_life/4593173/Annalisa-Alexander-reveals-her-breast-cancer-diary.html

Articles like this are a really key way we raise awareness of younger women's experiences of breast cancer and we are always looking for more people to volunteer to tell their story. Annalisa volunteered to be a media volunteer for us, and this article is the result. If anyone on this thread is interested in learning more about being a media volunteer, please email press@breastcancercare.org.uk and the press team will tell you more and sign you up if you're still keen.

I will pass your idea to our communications team and in the meantime, do think about becoming a media volunteer to help us raise awareness of breast cancer in younger women.

tors
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi everyone, thanks for your comments, hopefully by gathering together some evidence of the "gap in the Market" of awareness we can push things forward. I'll bump up the "how did you find your lump/symptoms" thread too as it's a great place to post your experiences and is an intestine read. It certainly paints it's own picture of recurring themes of lack of awareness in both the young women and the medical professionals.


Leah, do you know who will be looking at our idea? I just thought we might have more chance of getting it off the ground if a well regarded and established charity was putting it forward with us.

Thanks again everybody

Vickie

smc78
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

I was 33 when i was diagnosed in June this year and and i found my lump purely by chance while drying myself after a bath. I was shown how to examine myself once by a doctor at a routine pill check when i was in my early 20's but other than that i dont remember any publicity surrounding younger women and i dont think the doctor made it clear to me that it could happen before i hit my 60's. I was ignorant about cancer before my diagnosis as there is nothing in my family and I always believed i was far too young for Breast Cancer so I rarely checked myself. I'm shocked at the amount of younger women i have spoken to since being diagnosed (mainly through this site). Although it is less common for women under 45 than say 60 it still happens and women need to know about it and take it seriously. I like the idea of the Dove real women campaign and also agree that leaflets should be given out at surgeries perhaps colleges or even uni's to warn young girls of the importance of checking themselves. The biggest frightner for me is that because it is less common it is usually picked up at a more advanced stage and as a result the percentages of death are higher in younger women. One of my tumours (i had 2) was 5 and a half cm when i found it and i could kick myself that it grew to that size without me noticing because i never checked myself. Luckily with chemo my tumour has shrunk a lot and my prognosis is good. I've found chemo hard going at times. My Onc said that they were going to 'throw the book at me' as the tumour was so large, had already spread and i was at a young age. Maybe i wouldnt have had to have such brutal chemo if i'd bothered to check myself and picked it up earlier. I dont want any body else to go through this but i know unfortunately that it is going to happen time and time again unless something is done. The more women we can inform now, the better.
Sian x
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi Tors,
This is fantastic idea and well done for putting it forward.
I was diagnosed in June this year at the age of 32, grade 2 plus 3 nodes involved. This spurred my sister on to get checked and she too was diagnosed just a week after me with stage 1 breast cancer at just 35 yrs.
I feel really passionate about raising awareness in younger women and wonder why so little is done in the media. My breast cancer nurse said that in the last 10yrs, she has gone from seeing diagnosis in younger women few and far between to it not being unusual nowadays. I wonder what the cause is for such an increase in breast cancer in young women?
I love the Dove idea and thank you for sharing http://www.youngwomensbreastcancerfoundation.com/index.html I had though about doing a documentary but afterwards realised that it would be too much for me. What if a bunch of us get together and put a youtube video together? Just a thought. Also, does anyone know where we can get some hard facts on the rate of increase of BC in younger women?
I've just started a blog http://ichoosegiggles.wordpress.com/ originally to keep family and friends in the loop but now posting more publicly in the hope to raise awareness. I'll be writing something up specifically about bc in young women. I would love you to hear from others experiences on there to share a broader insight to what it's like living through breast cancer. I'll let you know when it's up.
All the best to everyone,
Sarah xox
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi,
Good to see the discussion going on here. I was diagnosed at 34. I actually found my lump only 5 days after doing a cancer research fundraising event, that was what reminded me to check. I am fortunate in that I was already checking (although probably not as much as I should have) Interestingly, it was raised in one of my 'Get healthy Stay Healthy' chats with occupational health at work when I was in my late twenties, I was even given stickers to put in my diary to remind me.
Also in my last smear the nurse did raise the issue of breast examination, she even had a dummy breast that she could put lumps in so people know what to feel for, how hard to press, etc. Unfortunately that was just after I finished my treatment, so I already knew, it had not been mentioned in previous ones at my previous doctors.
Unfortunately I have the BRCA1 gene, but no family history as it passed down the male line from my paternal grandfather.
Jen
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi, I def think more awareness that this terrible disease can strike at any age, any size, any location, anyone basically. I was 26 when I was diagnosed, turned 27 during treatment. Anyone I know who's had it was a mum of my friends or an aunt. im the youngest person at all the clinics, chemo ward, hospital appointments by a good 20ish years. I had no family history, no other symptoms, I've no other health conditions, I've never been in hospital. It just hit one day and no one, GP, doctor friends, could believe that it was breast cancer. I'd like to think going through this had hopefully helped my friends and family are being vigilant and checking. Something bringing it to the forefront might be a good idea, I know the stats are its 1 in 2000 Uni under 29's so I'm the exception but it does happen.
Janet_BCC
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Posted on behalf of new member Nicola

Hi Tors I'm ashamed to say that I didn't self-examine properly prior to my diagnosis in April 2010. Not because I didn't think breast cancer wouldn't happen to me, nor due to lack of awareness really, it's just I hadn't made the effort to make regular self-examinations a part of my routine. Women in their 30s/40s tend to be very busy with work, raising a family etc, and I agree that we need prompting to make time to examine ourselves on a regular basis.

I think your Dove-style campaign suggestion is great. I find it annoying when the media focuses on the most 'common' risk factors, most of which don't seem to apply to the young women I've met since diagnosis. This focus just serves to remind us that life is even more unfair than we thought it was! The number of well-meaning people who said to me, on hearing of my diagnosis: 'I can't believe it - you're really healthy'.

Midge's suggestion about increasing breast awareness at smear test appointments is great too. On a related note, I don't have children myself, so wonder if any info on breast awareness is included with ante/post-natal documentation? Mums' bodies go through such a lot during pregnancy and childbirth, and I can imagine it must be really hard to decide which body changes are 'normal' or 'abnormal'.

Given its existing support for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, I wonder if the likes of M&S would promote breast awareness alongside its lingerie collection (ie its general collection, not just post-surgery bras). Just a thought.

Midge
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi
I have said before that wouldn't the smear test be an ideal time for a quick chat to promote breast awareness. I know we are normally not at our happiest on these appointments, but they are regular, one to one and a leaflet could easily be handed out. It's only one idea, but I think it could be done so easily and would hit the thirty something's.
Dx

raechi
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hiya,
I fully support this too. I was diagnosed this year at 36. Found the lump myself in the shower. I think there is really something missing for us 30 somethings. I have said this a few times but i am yet to find anyone where i live my age that has had breast cancer and its the single most isolating experience i have ever been through. These boards have been a godsend.
I also agree that Coppafeel do a fantastic job, but the demogrpahic its aimed at is a lot younger than me.
I even raised this issue with work - targetting younger women (i work for a pharmaceutical company who make cancer drugs). Ironically the advice they are given from BUPA is no mammograms for women under 40 as the breast tissue is too dense, so a lot of tumours dont show up. So i would have slipped through the net there anyway. If thats the case we need to take a different tack and raise awareness any which way we can.
I am up for helping out any which way i can.
Rae
x

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Fabulous idea! I am 42 and diagnosed in June this year. I know I'm on the upper end of the 'young' but even at this age there is very little around for people my age. I've shared the photo on my FB page and anything that can be done to help, I will do it!

Well done Tors and thanks.

Viv xxx
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi ladies. I think there is a very definite gap when it comes to raising awareness and particularly for those in their 30s. Coppafeel do a great job of raising awareness for women in their teens and 20's, and elsewhere it seems to be that even where the term 'younger women' is used, it's more targeted at those in their 40s, prior to being invited for mammograms. Obviously every age brings its own specific difficulties, but one of the hardest things about my diagnosis at 31, was keeping things as 'normal' as possible at home for the sake of my 2 young daughters. In some respects it was a huge help as it meant I wouldn't allow myself to fall apart, but some days we all need a little 'hippo' time (to wallow), and it's hard to be reassuring for your youngsters, in those moments when you feel at your weakest.
tracyld
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we need to campaign to get the Mammograms brought forward to the age of 40!. Early diagnosis is vital for good results . Fund Raising is okay but we must make sure we order all the free leaflets and publications so that we can give them away to our work colleagues and Friends. The TLC Campaign was excellent , Touch Look Check !!
Keep up the good work girls xxx
Downbutnotout
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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi Tors and all

I was just outside the BCC category of 'young' but was diagnosed at 46 years, pre-screening age. Although I found a swollen lymph node, followed by a suspect area in my breast the next day, my doctor went through all the risk factors and he said I scored very low - healthy eating, lots of varied exercise, slim, non-smoker, drink a glass of wine about once a year or two. I have no family history of the disease, so again, nothing to alert me there. My cancer is IDC with DCIS, satellite tumours, grade 3, vasular invasion and 5 nodes involved - 1 with extra nodal extension.

I was a bit more aware because of a lady at work who was diagnosed 12 months before me but I didn't know enough, and as you can see, the cancer had done quite a lot by the time I found it. And I don't know how long it would have taken me to realise there was a slight thickening of the skin if the lymph node hadn't been so noticeably large.

I finished my treatment this May but despite all the treatment I live in fear in case there's something else I'm not aware of and at my hospital they don't scan unless there's a specific symptom to check.

I do try to make as many people aware as possible, and have been warning the men at work that they need to be aware also. I mentioned to my brother (a teacher who has a 14 year old daughter) about the BCC booklet aimed at children as I think perhaps schools ought to take this up - they could cover it in Biology lessons or guidance, if they still do guidance at school.
Well done you for your efforts so far on this.
X

tors
Member

Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Thanks LJ.

We've just got ourselves a RT from Marian Keyes! First of many hopefully. Thank you Marian if you ever read this!

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi Tors,
Like you I found my BC in early 2010, I was just 40. There was a family history - my mom in her late 40s. Never really thought I would be next. With the stress of changing jobs and the death of my in-laws checking my boobs was last on my list of things to do.
I am up for anything, as I am sure you have seen with me modelling at a lingerie evening. Happy to speak, promote, whatever it takes to help younger women to realise it could be them.
I try my best to keep my non-BC friends aware and with the use of personal experiences it is hard for people to understand. It is hard in this economic climate but I'm sure we can come up with something.
Keep us posted on FB as well.
LJ
xXx
tors
Member

Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Ps, your twitter account hasn't joined in the fun yet...

tors
Member

Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Thanks so much for the link Leah, I've just been on BCC's Facebook page and followed the link and am delighted that it's already being looked at and shared and 'liked'. Thank you.

Midge
Member

Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi
Thanks Leah I just followed the link and posted on the fb page. I agree it is difficult to target all ages in the breast awareness campaigns. I definitely think that those in our thirties and forties miss out a bit.
Coppa feel is a great starting point, but there are women like myself who really needed a kick up the bum in breast awareness.
My grandmother died of BC before I was born, my cousin had BC in her forties, but it still took me nearly 3 months to go to the dr's after I accidentally found the lump. Who knows how long it had been there because I hardly knew my boobs at all after two babies in two years. I didn't have a clue there was any risk at this time or with this family history.
I was 38 and busy, cancer wasn't in the plan. It was something that happened to other people and there were causes that could be avoided, consequently it was never going to happen to me.
Women don't need to be scared by a BC awareness campaign, they just need to realise that it happens to normal active, healthy women, someone they can relate to. That the biggest chance you can give yourself is finding the lump as soon as you can and getting it checked.
The younger women's forums are great for meeting women and realising that you are not a freak cos you got BC young.but the sad stories of those who have been lost to this disease since then makes you realise that there is an urgency making women aware.
Bcc does a great job in raising awareness for as many people as possible. I understand that the majority of women are older, that s why we ave screening, but with no screening, younger women have to be self reliant and therefore even more aware and proactive.
I didn't intend to write so much- old habits die hard.
Nice to hear about your little boy Leah.
Debx

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Aha- found it https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151080116547286&set=a.339996727285.149241.339979282285&type=1 (is that it?)

We're well, thanks. He's learning to walk & talk so keeping me on my toes!

(Edited to add: I've posted about this on the BCC facebook page now https://www.facebook.com/breastcancercare/posts/409027412485476 and it's had a few comments already, so thank you for sharing it.)

tors
Member

Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

It was on their Facebook page, my technical skills are woeful but I will do my very very best! Thanks Leah, hope all is well with you and your bambino.

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Re: Younger women breast cancer awareness- please read and leave your views!

Hi tors

I'll certainly pass this on. I've found the website you're referring to (I think - is it http://www.youngwomensbreastcancerfoundation.com/index.html ?) but I can't see any information about the campaign you're talking about, with the photo and "I'm not too young" sign.

Is there a link you could post here? Or if it's easier on Facebook, could you share the photo/link on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/breastcancercare so we can have a look at it?

Thanks