A new study released this week reveals frightening information involving breast cancer and younger women.
The study found the number of women under the age of 40 diagnosed with breast cancer has gone up over the past several years.
In those cases, the cancer was more advanced.
The number of women under 40 diagnosed with advanced stages of breast cancer has increased, about 2 percent every year from 1973 to 2009.
"That is cancer that has spread beyond the breast and lymph nodes," said Dr. Edward Sauter with UTHSC at Tyler. "Those are the ones where you are more likely to die."
Dr. Sauter has done extensive research on the disease.
"It tends to be more aggressive when diagnosed in younger women and that's probably because there's more of a genetic component," Dr. Sauter said.
Someone who knows the topic all too well: KETK's own Jennifer Kielman.
"I was diagnosed with breast cancer Oct.18 2010," Kielman said. "I was 32 years old. "Your world flips. You feel invisible because you don't think it could happen to you."
After a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, Kielman, who still doing hormone therapy, is now cancer free.
She saw many others diagnosed at a young age.
"I have friends who were 28 when they were diagnosed 27, it's scary to think about," she said.
Jennifer wants other women to learn from her: It's never too early to start screening on your own.
"Be very good about self breast exams, once a month if not more," Kielman said.
Dr. Sauter is in the middle of conducting a few breast cancer studies right now.
One is looking at a link between breast cancer and first time pregnancy in women, and another involves people with a family history of breast cancer.
If you are interested in signing up to be a part of any of his studies, email Dr. Sauter at firstname.lastname@example.org .