Breast cancer affects women of all ages, and research is the only way to stop it.
“When I was diagnosed I felt like the floor had been ripped from under me. Up until that point I had been complaining about getting old. Suddenly I was wondering whether I would even have the chance to grow old.” – Zara, 33
“Initially I did nothing… but after two months I went to the doctor and I had an ultrasound that potentially saved my life. It detected a two-centimetre lump in my left breast. I was operated on two days after my diagnosis, and just one week before my 30th birthday. I knew my life had changed in a profound way. I was terrified about the unknown journey ahead of me.”
While breast cancer is less common in young women, the challenges and risks that a young woman faces when diagnosed with breast cancer are extreme. Young women are typically diagnosed with more aggressive forms of breast cancer than older women, so they face a higher chance of dying from their disease. That is why funding research into the prevention and cure of breast cancer is such a priority. Donate now to life-changing research.
“I was incredibly thankful my cancer hadn’t spread, but my doctor recommended I do six weeks of radiotherapy and at least two years on Tamoxifen, preferably five, to minimise the chance of my cancer returning. Tamoxifen’s side effects were so severe I couldn’t keep working. It literally felt like someone had flicked a switch and cut off all my energy supplies.”
Currently, the most commonly prescribed preventative therapy against the development or recurrence of breast cancer is Tamoxifen, which can be very effective but comes with a number of challenging side effects like Zara and many women have experienced.
That’s why Dr Britt’s study is a critical step in breast cancer research. There is a protein found in breast tissue that increases once a woman bears children and Dr Britt believes that this protein is the protective factor that decreases the risk of breast cancer in women who bear children at a younger age, specifically before age 35. Dr Britt’s study will focus on testing whether this protein can prevent breast cancer development or slow the growth of tumours.
Research is the only way to end cancer.