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Under-50s breast cancer cases rise

07 May 2013 09:40

Mammogram shows breast cancer in its advanced stages

Mammogram shows breast cancer in its advanced stages

The number of women aged under 50 being diagnosed with breast cancer has passed 10,000 per year for the first time, according to research.

Cancer Research UK said in 2010, 10,068 women under the age of 50 in the UK were diagnosed with the disease - 2,300 more than the number diagnosed in 1995.

Of all women who have the disease in the UK, one in every five is aged under 50, the charity said. Those diagnosed with the disease may have taken the step of arranging breast cancer travel insurance before taking holidays.

Although the reason for the increase is not known, the charity suggested it could be caused by women having fewer children and having them later in life, a rise in alcohol consumption and use of the Pill.

Women aged 50 to 70 are routinely offered breast cancer screening but recently women in their forties have also been invited.

Cancer Research UK's Sara Hiom said: "Breast cancer is more common in older women but these figures show that younger women are also at risk of developing the disease.

"Women of all ages who notice anything different about their breasts including changes in size, shape or feel; a lump or thickening; nipple discharge or rash; dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin; should see their GP straight away, even if they have attended breast cancer screening. It's more likely not to be cancer but if it is, detecting it early gives the best chance of successful treatment."