Although many believe that breast cancer is diagnosed only in older women, approximately 11 percent of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age. Breast cancer is also the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 20 to 39. Breast cancers commonly found in younger women are more likely to be fast-growing and higher grade, which make the cancer more aggressive and more difficult to treat. This is why age-appropriate education and early diagnosis is so important for younger women.
Originally signed into law in 2010, the Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act has empowered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify gaps in education between young women and their health care providers, provide grants to local breast cancer organizations that work in assisting young women and create campaigns to educate the public that breast cancer is a disease that knows no age limits.