It is National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week.

I’ve been thinking a lot about health issues lately. It seems as if I’ve got so many things going on, with myself and my family. But I think that’s because I’ve recently had an anniversary. No, not my wedding anniversary, although I have also recently celebrated that. Like last week.

I had my first surgery for a lump in my left breast in February of 1999. Valentine’s day, as a matter of fact. Twelve years ago on Valentine’s Day was my first surgery for breast cancer. I am a twelve-year breast cancer survivor. So that makes me think of my experiences at that time. Especially in that how I was so young to get breast cancer. In fact, I had a Nurse Practitioner tell me I was “too young for breast cancer.” I was 27 when I discovered the lump in the spring of 1998. It wasn’t removed until almost exactly one year later, on Valentine’s Day 1999.

So, yes, young women get breast cancer. In fact, there is a national organization dedicated to increasing awareness of that fact, called the Young Survival Coalition.

The following is copied from the YSC’s website, youngsurvival.org:

“Young women CAN and DO get breast cancer. While breast cancer in young women accounts for a small percentage of all breast cancer cases, the impact of this disease is widespread: There are more than 250,000 women living in the U.S. who were diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40 or under, and approximately 10,000 young women will be diagnosed in the next year. …breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 15 to 54.”

In fact, this week is National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week (April 3-9). Please visit the Young Survival Coalition’s website at youngsurvival.org. Thanks!

Heather

P.S. So I had a VERY interesting 40th birthday in September! I loved it. I didn’t hate turning 40 at all. I was glad to be alive.

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About Heather Dewey Pettet, Writer/Crafter

I am a writer, editor, artist and crafter, as well as a mom. I have done community journalism as well as written on my personal experiences. I have been writing professionally since 2000. I have covered community events and news, been a freelance copyeditor, and written on my experiences as a breast cancer survivor. I am also a mom to a great boy who happens to have autism.
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