If you’re a younger women recently diagnosed with breast cancer, you’re not alone.
Most cases of breast cancer occur in women over 50, but around 400 New Zealand women under the age of 44 are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. These days, breast cancer is much more treatable if detected early, with around 85% of women alive five years after diagnosis. There are women in their seventies still thriving decades after experiencing breast cancer at a young age.
Younger women share some things in common with older women going through breast cancer. The tests for breast cancer, receiving biopsy results, the surgical options and the types of treatment after surgery are usually pretty similar. But there are specific concerns more relevant to younger women which are covered here.
In this section:
Fertility preservation before treatment commences
Impact on body image and sexuality
Early menopause and bone health
Treatment during pregnancy
Telling young children
If you would like to speak to a Breast Care Nurse at the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, call 0800 BCNURSE (0800 2268 773). If you need to speak to someone who's been through this, support is close at hand. Breast Cancer Support, a network of women with breast cancer, offers a 24-hour, all year toll free line 0800 273 222.