10% of breast cancer cases diagnosed in new mothers

Ten per cent of breast cancer cases affecting younger women affect new mothers who are either pregnant or breastfeeding, new statistics reveal.

Figures from UK charity Breast Cancer Care show that one-tenth of instances of the disease are first detected when a woman is expecting or feeding a baby, with doctors expecting that the number of new mothers diagnosed with the illness will increase further in the future. Scientists believe this will be due to a growing number of females leaving motherhood until their late-30s.

The charity's report also showed that among women aged 45 and under who are diagnosed with breast cancer, 39 per cent receive treatment for the condition while they still have a child under the age of five.

Of these women, more than half (53 per cent) said they found it difficult to care for their children during their treatment, which was the overall biggest consequence. However, 64 per cent did receive childcare support at this challenging time.

In addition, the survey led to the discovery that two-thirds (66 per cent) of breast cancer patients with children are most concerned about not being able to see their kids grow up.

The report emphasises the importance of women regularly checking their breasts for lumps - not just when they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Samia al Qadhi, chief executive of Breast Cancer Care, commented: "A breast cancer diagnosis during pregnancy or soon after giving birth can mean some women find it difficult to bond with their baby.

"We urge breast cancer units to adopt our recommendations for supporting younger women with breast cancer, which include a referral to a specialist if diagnosed during pregnancy."

The charity also runs support groups that are designed to provide peer support to younger women suffering from breast cancer, as they can often feel isolated from care programmes that are aimed at older patients.ADNFCR-2094-ID-801814427-ADNFCR