MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new study finds more women are being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer at an early age.
The findings are concerning because younger women tend to have more aggressive cancers and lower survival rates.
The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds a small but significant increase in advanced breast cancer among women in their 20s and 30s.
Researchers found the rate has gone up each year since 1976.
Experts say younger women usually don’t know something is wrong until they can actually feel a lump – a sign that the tumor is advanced.
“Women really have to pay attention to what’s going on in their physical exam. If they feel a mass…bring it to the doctors attention,” said Dr. Stephanie Bernik of Lenox Hill Hospital.
The study also found that the breast cancer rates increased in all races and ethnicities.
Researchers say more studies need to be done to figure out why the numbers are going up.