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Lecture 13

Health Sciences 1001A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Breast Cancer Awareness, Breast Cancer, Public Health

Health Sciences
Course Code
HS 1001A/B
Shauna Burke

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OPHS Foundations (Ontario public health services)
If the incidence of a cancer is very low in the general population or
in a demographic group (young women with breast cancer) they
are often misdiagnosed or ignored (CCS)
Closing the gap: a strategic plan AYA progress review group
Partnership & collaboration
Cancer is the main cause of early death among young adult women
Almost 2/3 of young adult cancers occur in young women, of these breast
cancer is the most common
There are relatively scant data to support either an environmental
causation or an inherited predisposition to cancer in this age group
At present, most cancer in this age group appears to be sporadic and
Need to be aware, know their bodies, know their breasts, understand their
risk, seek appropriate medical attention
Delays and diagnosis and treatment can be reduced by seeking regular and
prompt medical care, especially if AYAs are aware of unusual changes to
their skin, breasts, or testes
Little is known about the risk factors for many of the leading cancers in
Common symptoms are lumps in the neck, breast, abdomen, and testicle
as well as abnormal pigmented skin lesions
Unfortunately, there may be delay in diagnosis
oDelays in diagnosis:
Delays were attributed to either patients’ or physicians’ inaction
Physician reluctance to make a diagnosis
Assumed that age was a protective factor
Don’t let youth blind you to a cancer diagnosis
o15-39 years of age
oClose to 7,000 adolescents and young adults are diagnosed with cancer in Canada
each year
oOver 1,000 young women diagnosed with breast cancer in Canada each year
oAbout 400 young women diagnosed with breast cancer in Ontario each year
oIncidence of cancer in this age group increased steadily during the past quarter
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