Healthy Hairdresser

Shocking Pink: Spotlight on Young Women with Breast Cancer

Rosanne Ullman | November 4, 2014 | 9:00 PM

(This is a version of an excerpt from an article published in the Healthy Hairdresser section of the September 2014 issue of MODERN SALON.)



Although aging is a major risk factor in developing breast cancer, about 11 percent of all new breast cancers are found in women under 45, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Breast cancer in younger women tends to be more aggressive and more likely to require a mastectomy. In addition, a cancer diagnosis at a young age can feel more threatening to a happy future, with chemotherapy possibly forcing menopause and an estrogen-positive cancer impacting child-bearing choices. Among the companies making young women a focus of the battle against this disease is Paul Mitchell, which has designed products specifically in support of Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women.


According to the CDC, if you are a woman under 45, you are at greater risk for breast cancer if you:

  • Have close relatives who were diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer when they were younger than 45, especially if more than one relative was diagnosed or if the relative was male.
  • Test positive for changes in breast cancer gene BRCA1 or BRCA2 or have a close relative who has tested positive.
  • Have an Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.
  • Were treated with radiation therapy to the breast or chest during childhood or early adulthood.
  • Have a history of breast cancer or certain other breast health problems.
  • Have been told by a physician that you have dense breasts.

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