Jacksonville doctors say they’re starting to see breast cancer more often in younger women

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — October marks Breast Cancer Awareness month.

On Monday Gov. Ron DeSantis also announced his 41-year-old wife Casey is battling breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women.

About 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime, according to breastcancer.org.

Dr. Jennifer Crozier, the assistant professor of breast medical oncology and the director of breast cancer research at Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center told Action News Jax that doctors are starting to see more younger women getting breast cancer.

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That’s why she says it’s so important to do self-breast checks once a month and schedule your mammograms once you turn 40.

Cathy Leen is a patient at Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Back in April she went in for a routine mammogram and her results came back abnormal, but she had no signs or symptoms.

“As a matter of fact when I first saw the surgeon and she did an exam. She could not feel anything,” Leen said.

Thankfully her mammogram caught the cancer at an early and treatable stage.

Dr. Crozier said new and improved technology like 3D mammograms and MRIs are improving patient survival rates.

With better imaging, it is catching cancer sooner when they’re smaller and more curable.

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Dr. Crozier said Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center is also running several new studies and clinical trials to better treat patients.

“We’ve been integrating immunotherapy into some of our treatments including large clinical trials we’re running here, and we have other novel agents that are new like less toxic therapies that are new, for patients that we’re doing research with. So yes, it continues to evolve; it’s changing almost monthly now with the different changes to our treatment,” Dr. Crozier said.

Next month Leen is getting married to the love of her life, so she’s thankful her cancer was caught early.

She’s hoping others will be proactive too.

RESOURCES: Breast cancer awareness

“That’s my big focus is to encourage people to get their mammograms because I had no symptoms whatsoever,” Leen said.

Instead of having to do chemotherapy, Leen underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatment.

Soon she’ll begin taking medication to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer.