There is an increase in the number of young women getting breast cancer and those cases appear to be more severe, according to a study released today.
Deetria Horne was just 35-years-old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was stunned.
"I don't think anyone is expecting it, especially my age," said Horne.
A study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows Horne is part of a trend.
Since 1976, there has been a small but steady increase in the number of cancer cases in women aged 25 to 39, from 1.53 per 100,000 in 1976 to 2.90 per 100,000 in 2009.
"Not only are these women younger, it's more advanced cancer you wouldn't expect to see in that age group, "said Texas Health Harris Fort Worth Medical Director, Dr. Robin Skrine.
Texas Fort Worth has the only 3D mammography machine in Tarrant County. Doctors say it is best at detecting cancer in younger women whose breast tissue tends to have a high density.
Doctors typically do not recommend a first mammogram for most women until they are 40.
"Prior to age 30, it's like looking for a snowball in a snowstorm," said Skrine.
Deetria Horne discovered her cancer during a self-exam. She had surgery almost a year ago.
"I had a double mastectomy, 16 rounds of chemo and rounds of radiation," said Horne.
As many as 10 percent of breast cancer cases are believed to be genetic.
But, Dr. Skrine says Horne's cancer, like many young patients, is not typical and researchers don't know what's causing it.
"We need to take a look at why, is it our environment? What is it?" Skrine said.
Deetria Horne has been through a lot in the last year.
But, her prognosis is good.
KDFW FOX 4
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