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Considerations for the Treatment of Young Patients with Breast Cancer

Authors

  • Rhiana S. Menen MD,

    1. Department of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Kelly K. Hunt MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    • Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Kelly K. Hunt, MD, FACS, Department of Breast Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1400 Pressler Street, Unit 1434, Houston, TX 77030, USA, or e-mail: khunt@mdanderson.org

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Abstract

Breast cancer in the young patient, generally defined as younger than 40 years, is a rare but important problem. In the US, over 24,000 women under age 45 are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and nearly 2,500 young women die annually of the disease. This review is intended to address issues specific to caring for the young breast cancer patient including diagnosis, genetic counseling, tumor biology, surgery, and potential for development of contralateral breast cancer. Additionally, there are psychosocial considerations unique to this age group which should be addressed as part of a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary team approach including discussions about fertility, sexual function, behavioral health, and quality of life.

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