Young women receive more than their share of negative messages about their breasts: too big, too small, wrong shape and so on. Add breast pain and perhaps breast lumps for many young women–not to mention the scary breast cancer statistics. Women may love their breasts, but…
The good news is that most changes in a young woman’s breast are benign rather than cancer, and don’t increase her risk of cancer.
Most changes happen because young women in their 20s, 30s and 40s tend to have menstrual periods, active ovaries and plenty of hormonal activity going on. The breasts follow the same hormonal cycles and often become larger, lumpier and perhaps tender before the menstrual periods. Some women experience more distressing breast pain or specific breast lumps, almost always benign. (A small percentage of young women have specific inherited genetic changes that make them much more susceptible to breast cancer, but their numbers are relatively few.)
Some years ago, I was a young woman with a long history of breast lumps, pain, biopsies and a scary family history. I started digging for more information to help me and my friends cope with these common–but still frightening and bothersome–benign breast changes. The many breast cancer books available gave short shift to benign changes, and there was no Internet available then. However, I was fortunate enough to discover some experts, real movers and shakers in the breast health field.
As a registered nurse who had written health books before, I decided to take the information from those experts and pass it along to other women. This is 4th edition of that book, with plenty of updates, a new focus on young women and even a new title: The Young Woman’s Breast Health Book. I’m adding a website with blog postings to spread the information further.
To our health!
Kerry Anne McGinn, RN, ARNP, MSN