Younger women and breast cancer

yscI really admire the Young Survival Coalition and the work they do. Although they are based in the USA, I made full use of their online resources when I was looking for answers as a young woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

I also really admire the fact that YSC was founded by three young breast cancer survivors back in 1998. All under the age of 35 at diagnosis, they were discouraged by the lack of information and resources available to young women, and concerned about the under-representation of young women in breast cancer studies.

Unlike their post-menopausal counterparts, young women diagnosed with breast cancer face higher mortality rates, fertility issues and the possibility and ramifications of early menopause. The YSC seeks to change the face of breast cancer by: advocating to increase the number of studies about young women and breast cancer; educating young women about the importance of breast self-examination and early detection; and being a point of contact for other young women with breast cancer.

Today, the YSC is a growing international group of thousands of survivors and supporters. Embracing the motto, “Action, Advocacy, Awareness,” members attend conferences; lobby federal and state legislators; speak at universities, colleges, and health fairs; and run an annual awareness campaign targeted at the medical community – encouraging doctors and researchers to focus more resources on this underserved segment of the population. The YSC also strives to educate and support young women living with a diagnosis of breast cancer.

I was lucky enough to attend one of their conferences two years after I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and it was an empowering experience.  I came away inspired and all fired up with the ideals of advocacy for younger women and breast cancer.

You can read all about the work of the Young Survival Coalition at their website:

You can also watch a short  video about young breast cancer survivors and the Young Survival Coalition on YouTube.