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4 More Things You Need To Know About Breast Cancer

It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so do your part and find out everything you can about this disease. We help you by sharing a few more facts that could save your life.

We shared with you ten facts you should know about breast cancer in our Breast Cancer Awareness feature, but we feel you need to know these additional vital info:

1. It rarely strikes in your 20s.

Less than five percent of all breast cancer cases occur in women under 40. It usually hits after menopause; nearly 80 percent of cases are in women over 50.

2. Gynes don't always take symptoms seriously.

Because breast cancer is so uncommon in young women, your doc may blow off a lump or other worrisome sign (like bloody nipple discharge). Insist that she perform a clinical breast exam and a needle biopsy or ultrasound.

3. A family history puts younger women at risk.

When 20- and 30-something women develop the disease, they may have a gene mutation. If your mother or sister had breast cancer before menopause, consider genetic testing.

4. It's no deadlier for younger women.

Studies disprove the theory that breast cancer is more lethal in your 20s and 30s. How aggressive it is depends on the size and type of tumor, and if it has spread to other body parts. A stage one cancer in a young woman is just as curable as a stage one cancer in a woman who is older.

Sources: Katherine Alley, MD, medical director of the Breast Center at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland; American Cancer Society

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