Breast Cancer Rate Rises in Women Under 40: What We Can Do


Share on PinterestExperts urge young women to be aware of their family’s cancer history as well as lifestyle risks. Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

Researchers report that breast cancer rates in people under age 40 have increased.
They say they aren’t certain why the rates have gone up, but they hope their findings will raise awareness and research efforts.
They urge young people to know their family’s history as well as what behaviors can increase risks.

In the fall of 2014, Christina Best began her much-anticipated job as an English teacher at the rural northeastern North Carolina high school she had attended only four years earlier.

“I loved my students. I even had siblings of the students I went to school with in my classroom,” Best, who was 24 at the time, told Healthline.

While her enthusiasm for teaching was great, the joys of the job were hampered by a nagging and sometimes severe pain in her chest.

In spring 2016, a biopsy confirmed the pain was caused by a cancerous tumor. Her doctors eventually diagnosed it as stage 2A breast cancer.

“I was stunned,” Best said. “It was a total surprise. I just didn’t know that women that age got breast cancer. My grandmother had it. I always thought it happened to older women.”

Best took an extended leave from her job to undergo treatment…

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