Breast cancer for the under-50s

Breast cancer is far less common in the under-50s, but this can leave younger people with a diagnosis feeling isolated. This group is a place for them to come together, share experiences and support each other.

Feeling young

Posted by

I'm 43 and on number 7 of 25 radiotherapy treatments for a large DCIS area which was removed a few months ago. The thing I'm finding the hardest to deal with though is the fact that I am (by at least 25 years) the youngest person in the whole radiotherapy centre! Where are the other 'young' people?? A kind woman today exclaimed to me how young I was just confirming my suspicions. That said, I didn't feel young at all until I started this treatment. The breast clinic was full of people younger than me yet I don't know where they have disappeared to along the way. I was dealing with my diagnosis ok but I'm finding it hard again solely on account of this.

Anyone else experiencing this?


Posted by

Hi Rosie, I am four years older than you, and yes you are young, it's hard not to compare yourself to others.  And to think well why am I not off the hook.  I am sure there are lots of other people your age and younger that walk through that door, and we only witness a brief time frame.  My ex died of cancer when he was 30 and a friend of mine her little boy of 7 has had leukemia for the past 2 years.  All I can say is don't look behind and side ways, keep facing forward.  Sending you hugs, hope your treatment goes well xx

Posted by


Although I was just over 50 when diagnosed last year, I reckon the time you attend radiotherapy depends on who's around.  I went after work as they offered slots until 7pm and the young people were around then.  There were a couple of appointments when they couldn't fit me in at that time and I was there earlier in the day - and there were very elderly ladies there.  One lady was in her 80's (bless her - imagine having to deal with all this at her age). 

My oncologist said about me being "young" when I met him for the first time and I'm 9 years older than you - I could have hugged him as no-one had said that I was young for decades!

Lesley x

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Posted by

Hello Rosie,

I can completely understand how you are feeling. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July, I was 30 years old! Every 3 weeks I go to the chemo unit to have treatment and 9 times out of 10 I am the youngest in the unit. Although everyone I've met is really friendly, sometimes I find I don't have much in common with the other ladies. For example, I became a mum for the first time this year and most of the other patients are grandparents 


Posted by

Hi. I’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26, I’m a mother of 3, youngest being 5 months old! I really don’t know what to expect from this journey ahead of me so I’m just reading up on here and joining a few discussions 

Posted by

Hello kpr2018

My boy was 6 months old when I was diagnosed, I've just had my last chemo session yesterday  All I can say is accept any help that is offered! I have been stubborn and refused help but it has been to my detriment! 


Posted by

I am certainly going to accept all the help that is offered as I’m usually so stubborn, don’t let anyone else do a thing for any of them but I know I’ll have to change that now and I’m usually so active and out and about every single day with them but I’ve come to terms with that having to stop too. How was chemo? That’s what I’m most worried about xx

Posted by

Hi Rosie!

Don't worry you are not alone! I had radiotherapy in May/June and I was also by far the youngest there (34 at the time). Because I had to travel for it a minibus was laid on for us to travel to the hospital. All the other patients were absolutely lovely but the mean age was about double mine. I felt a bit like I had fast forward to my OAP days and I was going to social clubs.

I had a little old lady or two exclaim that you are much to young to be here. I also get starred at a little (or when they look shocked then try and pretend they are not looking at you but are - you will know what I mean) when I walk in to oncology.

But in seriousness it is tough and isolating in some ways to be diagnosed at a much younger than normal age. Not that anyone does anything to make you feel that way, all are lovely. It's just that sometimes worries are different for someone say below retirement age. How do you tell your work? How will you pay the mortgage? If you are single and want a relationship in the future when is the right time to bring up that you have had or have cancer? 


There are no perfect people, only perfect intentions

♬I should've been more than this, I was gonna be something big, But I never did anything at all ♬ Dan Owen - Icarus
Posted by

Hello Kpr2018.

i am 26 years old also and was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer in August. 

I have completed chemotherapy and now awaiting surgery and radiotherapy. Chemotherapy was mixed. Ended up in hospital 4/6 times but never with anything major as caught things before they turned into something serious. Finished chemo 2 weeks ago. Will you be having targeted treatment?? 

I think when going to appointments and being the youngest there does make it hot home. However every person you meet will be as supportive as the next. I have had many conversations on the chemo ward with people going through a similar situation. The empathy and support that is given is fantastic! 

I know we’re young. I kept saying to people that people a lot younger get diagnosed everyday and swelling on age isn’t going to change anything. If you need anything please feel free to message me. 

Posted by

, I totally know how you feel. I am 42 and I have never seen anyone remotely near my age at any appointments and everyone keeps telling me I am so young (which in other circumstances would be nice to hear). There obviously lots  of us out there in the same boat just don't see each other! I started off with what they thought was DCIS but after second op turns out I had stage 3 so now have to have chemo. Difficult coming to terms with it all but have to keep a brave face on it when you have kids and partner who is not dealing that well with it.

My chemo starts in Jan and absolutely dreading it. I have been told all breast cancer patients have their chemo that day so who knows the age groups of others there that day. I just wish that nobody had to go through this.


Posted by

Hi NiceCuppa, sounds like you’ve had a horrible few months, hope you’re getting a good break before your chemo. It’s hard trying to be the strong one, I find coming on here a good way to be open about how i’m feeling when outwardly i’m trying to be positive and to realise that despite how it feels you’re not alone and others are going through this too. 

Best of luck with it all when the next stage starts.