A new study shows that advanced breast cancer among younger women, ages 25 to 39, may have increased slightly over the last three decades.
The study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that advanced cases climbed to 2.9 per 100,000 younger women in 2009, from 1.53 per 100,000 women in 1976 — an increase of 1.37 cases per 100,000 women in 34 years. The totals were about 250 such cases per year in the mid-1970s, and more than 800 per year in 2009.
Though small, the increase was statistically significant, and the researchers said it was worrisome because it involved cancer that had already spread to organs like the liver or lungs by the time it was diagnosed, which greatly diminishes the odds of survival.
Some outside experts questioned whether the increase was real, and expressed concerns that the report would frighten women needlessly.
by RTT Staff Writer
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