Has anyone been diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age? I was just diagnosed on Friday and am 24 years old. We don't have a lot of information yet but are meeting with a surgeon on Tuesday. It would be great to hear other people's stories.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of women in their 20's and 30's with breast cancer. Make sure you are going to a big, academic, cancer center or place with connections to a big cancer center. Breast cancer in young women can be aggressive and needs state of the art treatment.
If a mastectomy is advised, you want a good plastic surgeon who does a lot of breast reconstructions involved. I have seen some good reconstructions. One woman in her 40's who I was seeing for a cold showed off her perfect new breast. She told me she was having her other breast worked on because she wanted it to match the perfectly shaped reconstructed breast. She could have done modeling with that perfect breast!
My cousin had breast cancer in her 30's. After a lot of surgery and chemo, she is fine now, and in her 50's.
Good luck, and keep us posted. You have a long road ahead.
ETA after reading Sheasmom's post: These are not stories of people dying or about dealing with the medical aspects of cancer (totally agree with her on that). It's about knowing there are many young adults in the same boat and connecting with them if you want.
The odds are overwhelming that you will be fine.
Don't go on the internet and read anything. I made that mistake.
Try not to worry until you know something concrete.
Read a book, go to a movie, be with people.
And let us know how the appointment goes.
Someone call always tell you something bad, about someone who died young, but the facts are that it is unlikely.
You can't avoid hearing those bad stories, but don't seek them out on the internet!! Stick with good friends for now.
5 year survivor.
I had a friend diagnosed in her 20s, she is 55 now! You will hear negative things. Its like when you are pregnant out in public, people always tell you about the 95 hours of horrible labor before they get out the scalpels. You never hear about the uncomplicated deliveries. You will want to make sure that you go to the most experienced oncologist that you can get. I also second not sitting alone in your house letting the natural anxiety you are feeling get out of control. The medical community has made huge strides in breast cancer treatment. You may have a couple of sucky years of treatment, but you will most likely recover well. My friend has been cancer free for quite awhile. Life is full of obstacles, and I am sure you will get through this one. Keep in touch with us, we are all here to offer you support.
My daughter-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer at 26. She's 30 now. She had a mastectomy and reconstruction, and is doing really well. She had radiation, but not chemo.
It was terrifying for all of us, but she's doing really well. She had a baby before her diagnosis, and has had another baby since her surgery.
Just be grateful they caught it. Her OB/GYN dismissed her concerns saying she was too young. She wouldn't let it go, went to another doctor and they diagnosed the cancer. It's scary to think where she'd be now if she hadn't listened to that little voice in her head telling her NOT to ignore it.
breast cancer in the very young, such as yourself, is a completely different disease than the typical post-menopausal type of breast cancer. So be careful where you get information from- the basic online statistics and usual treatment options don't apply to you.
Thank you all for your response. I do feel kind of "alone" in terms of my age and be diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully I have wonderful family and friends to help me get through this. I have been careful not to sit at home since the diagnosis as I don't want to be stressing about this. A good friend and I took our horses to the beach on Saturday and that really helped me relax after an anxious week.
So very sorry you're having to deal with this at such a young age. Most of my mom's side of the family has had it. My mom had it 4 years ago (I think). She had to have the very rough chemo due to a rare but severe allergic reaction to the newest and best type, and then had radiation. She opted not to have the mastectomy, but now wishes she had done it. The radiation does something odd to breast tissue so that when you gain and lose weight, that breast doesn't change sizes.
Find the BEST doctor you can find within whatever geographic area you can manage, and then if you feel you need to, get a second opinion. If you opt for a mastectomy, find the absolute best plastic surgeon that you or your insurance can/will pay for.