Although breast cancer is most common in women between the ages of 50-70, there is risk at any age, as with all other cancer types. Breast cancer is known as a disease seen in post-menopausal women, however, Liv Hospital Ulus Breast Cancer Surgeon Prof. Dr. Ertugrul Gazioglu stated that the age range has decreased these past two decades and that breast cancer is now seen in young women, as well. Prof. Dr. Ertugrul Gazioglu said “In recent years, the mean age of breast cancer patients is shifting towards younger population. The breast cancer incidence in young women has increased in countries like Turkey in terms of social, cultural and economical aspects”. Prof. Dr. Ertugrul Gazioglu explained breast cancer.
In Turkey, one in every twelve women suffers from breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women worldwide and is the number one cause of cancer related deaths. In the past 50 years, the incidence of breast cancer has doubled globally. Fifty years ago, the incidence of breast cancer was one in 20 women in the socioeconomically developed Western countries, but now one in every 8 women suffers from it. This rate is increasing in our country as well. In Turkey, one in every twelve women suffers from breast cancer in their lifetime.
Mean age of breast cancer incidence is decreasing
In the United States and Europe, only 7-8% of all breast cancer cases are below 40 years of age, however, in our country, 20% of all breast cancer patients are 40 or younger in our country. And almost half of the breast cancer patients in our country are younger than 50 years of age.
Why did breast cancer become prevalent under the age of 50?
- Increased consumption of industrial and processed food
- Use of unnecessary and uncontrolled hormone, drugs and similar products
- Stressful work life of young women
- Not giving birth; giving birth at a young age, no breastfeeding
Annual mammography after the age of 40
World Health Organization recommends annual mammography screening after the age of 40 for healthy women without any complaints. However, young women who have breast cancer history in their family should have breast examination once in every three years and breast ultrasonography, if needed, starting from puberty.
Factors Increasing Breast Cancer Risk
- Being female
- 50-70 years of age and post-menopausal period
- Breast cancer history in the family
- (Closer relatives and higher number of breast cancer cases leads to higher risk)
- Previous breast cancer presence
- Early menstruation onset, late menopause
- Not giving birth
- Giving first birth after the age of 30
- Giving birth but not breastfeeding the infant
- Long-term hormone therapy
- Stressful environment of modern city life
- Overweight: Gaining weight especially after menopause and excess consumption of food rich in saturated fats
- Lack of physical activity