The age at which most breast cancer develops (age specific breast cancer incidence) will vary according to gene type and country of origin. A recent study identified that amongst BRCA1 carriers, the peak incidence for breast cancer increased from age 21-40, remaining constant thereafter with a peak incidence age 41-50 years. A similar trend was seen amongst BRCA2 carriers, with a peak incidence seen at 51-60 years.
Screening aims to identify breast cancers at a smaller size with hopefully a better outcome. An awareness of the limitations of mammography in young women needs to be considered as this age group will have dense breast tissue increasing the levels of difficulty in the interpretation of mammograms.