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191028 - Breast cancer in the young woman: Understanding her challenges and concerns

  • : Online

This activity aims to provide GPs with information about the challenges and concerns of young women affected by breast cancer. It highlights the important role that GPs can play in promoting routine breast health, investigating breast changes in young women and managing a diagnosis.

Relevance to General Practice

Almost all breast cancer services are tailored to older women, however, of the 16,852 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, 802 of these were women under the age of 40 years. Young women are more likely to be diagnosed with more aggressive and larger breast cancers than older women. Young women also have lower 5-year relative survival rates compared to women aged 40 and over.
Young women diagnosed with breast cancer also face unique challenges because of their age. For example, they may be juggling major life events, such as pregnancy, parenting, partnering and a career. Treatment for breast cancer can cause early menopause and affect the ability to have children in the future. Changes to a young woman’s body can affect her self-esteem and relationships. Taking time off work for treatment can also alter her career trajectory or affect her finances. So more specialised care needs to be provided by GPs for young women with breast cancer.

Learning outcomes
  • Describe the incidence, mortality, risk factors and characteristics of breast cancer in young women in Australia.
  • Proactively promote and communicate the importance of breast health in young women.
  • Outline the best practice guidelines for investigating a breast symptom in a young woman.
  • Communicate with empathy when discussing the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer with a young woman.
  • Describe the unique physical, psychological and practical challenges that a young woman with breast cancer faces during diagnosis, treatment and life after breast cancer.
  • Domains of General Practice

    D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship

    • Communication is clear, respectful, empathic and appropriate to the person and their sociocultural context

    D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills

    • A comprehensive, clearly documented biopsychosocial history is taken from the patient

    D3. Population health and the context of general practice

    • The patterns and prevalence of disease are incorporated into screening and management practices

    D4. Professional and ethical role

    • Professional knowledge and skills are reviewed and developed

    D5. Organisational and legal dimensions

    Curriculum Contextual Units
    • Women's health
    • Oncology and palliative care
    191028 - Breast cancer in the young woman: Understanding her challenges and concerns
    Provider Type
    Education Provider
    1 hour
    Start Date
    End Date
    CPD Points
    2 cpd
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