Myth: Breast cancer only affects middle-aged or older women
Here’s The Truth
While most cases of breast cancer do occur in middle-aged or older women, a breast cancer diagnosis can happen at any age or any time.
About 9% of new breast cancer cases in the United States are found in women under age 45, and these cases are more likely to be found at a later stage, according to the CDC.
Overall, women in the United States have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. However, the risk of developing breast cancer does increase with age. It is important to understand risk factors for breast cancer, early signs and symptoms, as well as to make and keep regular mammogram and doctor’s appointments.
In addition, women who have a mother, daughter, or sister (a first-degree relative) with breast cancer should begin screening 10 years before the age of diagnosis for that relative. For example, if your mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 43, you should start receiving annual mammograms at age 33. Regardless of your age or risk factors, it is always smart to focus on breast health and regular screenings.