SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – A new study shows an increase in younger women being diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer.
A new study in Journal of the American Medical Association found the number of women between the ages of 25 and 39, being diagnosed with advanced staged breast, has increased from 1.5 per 100,000 in 1976 to 2.9 per 100,000 in 2009.
Dr. Brett Parkinson said it’s a trend that’s also presenting itself here in Utah. "What we're seeing at intermountain is more younger women diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Dr. Parkinson. “We are also seeing that many of those women are also being diagnosed at a later stage."
So why the increase? Dr. Parkinson thinks it may be because women are no longer doing self breast exams.
"What I think what's happened is that there has been a wide spread ignorance of breast health,” said Dr. Parkinson. “So women might not be doing self breast exams so by the time they show up here in the breast center they're more advanced then they used to be."
To decrease the risk, Dr. Parkinson says, it's important for all young women to pay close attention to their family's health history and check themselves regularly.
"The trend is scary and the message we need to get out to women is do not ignore any lumps."
For more information on breast cancer screening log on to: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/breast/Patient/page1