Posted by Neharika Sabharwal on November 01, 2013

Breast cancer in women under 40 years is on the upswing across Europe, findings of a new research suggest. Well, this seems to be a port of call for an immediate response.

Currently, experts are ambiguous whether to attribute the rising cases of the malignancy in young women to improved methods of diagnosis or new risk factors.

According to statistics of a study in Cancer Epidemiology, cases of breast cancer were up by close to one percent a year between 1990 and 2008 in seven countries.

The lead study author Dr. Brice Leclere of the GRELL working group stated, "The rise in incidence was greater for women under 35 and for ductal carcinomas [a type of tumour in the ducts of the mammary gland. This increase can be due to a rise in risk factors and/or changes in diagnosis and surveillance practices, but we could not clearly distinguish between these two non-exclusive explanations."

Trends in breast cancer in under 40's studied

The risk of contracting breast cancer increases with age and the risk in young women is relatively rare at about just five percent. However, despite this small percentage, the disease is the leading cause of mortality among the younger sect.

In order to get some insight into the breast cancer trends across Europe in women under 40, the researchers conducted a study in Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland over a period of 18 years.

It was observed that younger women have become susceptible to the disease. The researchers found that breast cancer cases surged by an average of around one percent a year in women under 40 with the maximum increase in women under 35.

Jessica Kirby, Cancer Research UK's health information manager, said, "Rises in breast cancer rates could be caused by a range of things that can increase the risk of breast cancer, such as women having fewer children and having them later in life, or greater awareness and diagnosis in this group. Women can reduce the risk of breast cancer by keeping active and cutting down on alcohol. Also get to know your breasts and, if you notice any change, tell your doctor without delay."

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