RALEIGH, N.C. — When you are young, you feel invincible. Health warnings for things like breast cancer are for older women, but not necessarily. The disease is more common in women over 40, but younger women should not ignore it.
On a typical college campus, female students usually have exams on their mind, but not breast exams.
"Young women 19, 20, 21, college-age women are getting breast cancer," said Laci Leggitt, assistant director of the North Carolina Women's Center.
Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
sent a educational trailer on a 10-campus tour. It has grabbed the interest of a steady line of students at North Carolina State University.
"It gives me hope that they will not become what I am, which is a survivor," said Ellen Szinege.
A year and a half ago, a routine mammogram showed Szinege had a small cancerous lump.
"Every year, I had a mammogram. Thank goodness because nobody felt it," she said.
Doctors recommend annual mammograms for women 40 and older but not for younger women. Officials suggest starting at age 20, women should get a clinical exam every three years.
Most women who get breast cancer have no family history of the disease. You can do things to reduce your risk such as exercise and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.