Specialized programs to support young women with breast cancer
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© 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Purpose of review Because of the recognized impact of breast cancer and its treatment on a young woman's life, initiatives are being established worldwide. The main aim of this review was to describe existing specialized programs that support young women with breast cancer (YWBC), advances to date, current challenges and future actions. Recent findings Current programs for YWBC are now educating professionals, patients, and communities on their specific needs. Also, support groups have helped break isolation and connect YWBC together. Research on biology, treatment, adverse effects, risk factors, genetics, and social aspects on YWBC is now being actively conducted. In low-and middle-income countries, the particular issues of young women are, however, still not systematically addressed, because of scarce funding, lack of awareness of YWBC needs, and deficient provider training. Summary Practice guidelines and algorithms should be disseminated and available for their widespread use to allow standard clinical and supportive care for YWBC even in oncologic centers where no specific programs exist. Also, cancer centers should formally commit to financing, at least partially, dedicated services, and existing programs for YWBC, guaranteeing their continuity. Finally, interinstitutional and international collaborations should be encouraged to facilitate adequately powered research, to avoid repetitive efforts, and to promote knowledge sharing and translation.