According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 9% of breast cancer affects women under 45. For that age group, the cancer can even be faster-growing and harder to treat, Yahoo News reported.
That was the case for 24-year-old Siobhan Harrison who noticed a bump on her upper chest in December 2020. She thought it was a pimple and tried to pop it. However, the area became bruised and grew.
“I kept an eye on it for a while and noticed it getting bigger, which I thought was because I’d aggravated it,” said Harrison. “But it started to worry me, so I booked a doctor’s appointment.”
She was referred for more testing, which revealed she had stage-two triple negative breast cancer, which means the cancer grew into nearby tissue, but not to other organs. Triple-negative breast cancer spreads faster and has fewer treatment options.
Harrison had the lump taken out and underwent a dozen rounds of chemotherapy. She also received two weeks of radiation earlier this year to help prevent the cancer from recurring. Now, she’s being monitored for returning cancer cells and has a message for young women: don’t overlook breast health.
“I never thought that I could be diagnosed with cancer so young, it was such a shock to me and my family,” Harrison told Yahoo. “I want to get the word out that young women need to be checking their breasts for lumps and must notify their doctor if there are any changes, as it could be lifesaving.”