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D. When Breast Cancer Strikes Younger Women

Narrator: This is Science Today. The average age of breast cancer diagnosis in the United States is sixty-two, yet twenty-five percent of women will be fifty years or younger at the time of diagnosis. In a recent study, Patricia Ganz, director of Cancer Prevention and Control at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, found the youngest women - those between 25 and 34 - were more vulnerable to psychological and physical hardship years after diagnosis.

Ganz: For a 30-year old woman who may have just gotten married or has started a new job or is thinking about having a family - is kind of in the prime of her life in terms of many life goals - to feel a lump in her breast and then be told it's cancer, or have some other symptom that brings her to the doctor, is really not expected at that age. Whereas the older women at least have had more contact with the health care system and realize that they could indeed get an illness.

Narrator: This study supports previous findings about quality of life issues and Ganz hopes it may lead to better support therapies for this particular group of patients. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.