Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer in Young Women

  • Lorenzo RossiEmail author
  • Calogero Mazzara
  • Olivia Pagani
Breast Cancer (EA Comen, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Breast Cancer

Opinion statement

Despite the increase of breast cancer incidence with age, approximately 7 to 10% ofwomen diagnosed with breast cancer are younger than the age 40. This subgroup ofpatients has different risk factors, tumour biology, clinical outcomes, and specific psy- chosocial issues, such as fertility preservation, family planning, and job reintegration. However, age alone should not be the main consideration when choosing the aggressive- ness of the treatment, as other factors must be considered, including the biologic aggressiveness of the tumour, potential long-term toxicities, and the preferences of the patient. Fertility preservation techniques should be discussed with the patient before starting any cancer treatment. Despite the significant percentage of breast cancer patients younger than age 40, fewclinical studies have specifically investigated disease characteristics and outcomes of this population, and most therapies routinely administered to these younger women were tested in older patients. Moreover, young women who have breast cancer are at a greater risk of sexual and psychological distress, and clinicians should address these issues in order to properly support patients during the long diagnostic and therapeutic journey. Consequently, it is essential to follow diagnostic and treatment guidelines specificallyaddressed to young women. Additional specific procedures should be followed to treat pregnant patients with breast cancer.


Breast cancer Young women Diagnosis Treatment Pregnancy Fertility 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Lorenzo Rossi, Calogero Mazzara, and Olivia Pagani declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors..

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenzo Rossi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Calogero Mazzara
    • 1
    • 2
  • Olivia Pagani
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Oncology of Southern Switzerland (IOSI)BellinzonaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Breast Unit of Southern Switzerland (CSSI)LuganoSwitzerland

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