Breast Cancer in the Younger Women- Is the Management Different?

written by Dr Harjit Kaur on 17 April 2013

Breast cancer as we know is still the number one cancer killer of women globally. The incidence is increasing worldwide. What’s worrying us more is that the number of younger women developing breast cancer is increasing as well especially between 35 to 45years. 

 
This is a unique group as many are either young mothers or haven’t started a family as yet. The issues faced by this group of women are multifactorial and needs to be addressed when managing the cancer. The trauma of being diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age is traumatic enough. The treatment of the disease often affects the fertility of these women whether temporarily or permanent. These are important issues to address before surgery.
If losing a breast becomes inevitable,  reconstructive surgery options must always be made available to the patient. Patients must be given a choice to have such a surgery as it affects them in the long run in terms of confidence and self esteem.
 
Psychological issues are often overlooked or ignored. Many suffer in silence for the fear of seeking help. There is a tremendous burden on these women whether single or married. Different issues affect different women. All these must be taken into consideration when planning the treatment for this select group of women. A holistic approach to their management is mandatory. The choice of surgery should be aimed at minimally invasive as possible with treatment plans drawn out to ensure that the day to day activity is not completely disrupted.
 
Young breast cancer patients are a unique lot and deserve special care in their management. Careful planning and a holistic take on their issues is the only way to ensure a good outcome.