By Amy Corderory – Sydney Morning Herald.
Young women who develop breast cancer do not get the help and support they need, and many are suffering long-term financial and emotional consequences, the National Breast Cancer Foundation says.
It will release a report on Wednesday looking at the effect of breast cancer on the nearly 800 young Australian women will be diagnosed with it each year.
Breast Cancer Foundation chief executive Carole Renouf said while it was relatively rare among women aged under 40, it had a disproportionate impact on those who were diagnosed.
The report finds breast cancer in young women is typically more aggressive, and arrives at a time that can significantly derail a woman’s career progression, relationships and child-bearing ability.
“One of the most interesting things we found is the impact on career [breast cancer]can have, and that’s something I’d really like to get the word out to employers about,” Ms Renouf said.
The report, which surveyed 100 Australian women as well as reviewing international research, found some young breast cancer survivors are never able to return to the roll they were working in when they were diagnosed.
“For about half of those women it is about the fact that they don’t feel up to the physical demands of the role, and for another third it was that they didn’t feel up to it emotionally,” Ms Renouf said. “A supportive work environment is so important for those women, because work is such a large part of their identity, and their future earning potential”.