“You’re too young to have breast cancer.” Contrary to this phrase, young women do get breast cancer, and a cancer diagnosis at a young age brings unique needs and challenges.
Hearing “you have breast cancer” brings with it many questions and concerns. You may feel overwhelmed as you face your diagnosis, try to make treatment decisions and deal with the impact that this will have on you and your family. Remember that you are not alone, there are support services and organizations that have information to help you through this diagnosis. There are also other young women who have gone through and who are going through a similar situation as you. You may be able to connect with them through your cancer centre or through community groups online.
There are programs available through your cancer centre to help support you when making treatment decisions and as you go through the various stages of your treatment. CBCN has developed specific information on our website for young women to help provide you with the tools to address your treatment needs, managing your family, relationships, career and finances while dealing with breast cancer. We also have a handbook “Never Too Young” that provides more information specific to young women’s challenges; this book also provides links to other resources you may find helpful.
While each persons’ breast cancer experience is different it is also important to remember that there are other young women going through a similar experience as you. Of the 26 000 Canadians who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, 4 495 of them will be age 49 or younger. So while there are fewer young women than older women dealing with breast cancer, it’s important to remember that you are not alone.