LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Breast cancer is rare in women in their 20s and 30s. The American Cancer Society said it accounts for less than 5 percent of all cases. Jessica Randall said she wants other young women to know, just because it is rare, doesn't mean it can't happen to you. She was diagnosed two weeks before her 22nd birthday back in 2015.
"I kind of felt something two months beforehand, but I wasn’t really sure. My friends and family were like don’t worry about it. It’s a cyst. People get cysts all the time. It’s not a big deal,” Randall said. "I put it off, but then it started hurting on my breast, so I decided to call my OGBYN."
At the time she was a newlywed, a college student and hoping to start a family soon.
"It was just a lot to take in,” Randall said.
She went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy and got a double mastectomy. UofL Health said, while it is more rare to get breast cancer under 40, younger women often have a worse prognosis and are diagnosed at a later stage.
“Basically it was a good thing I came in when I did. It could have gone on to my lymph nodes, my bones and everything. I was very fortunate to listen to my gut and go in when I did,” Randall said.
She is now cancer-free with a healthy 6-month old son. She said she shares her story in hopes that it could encourage other women to get checked out if something feels off, as it could save their lives.
“If you have that gut feeling, if you feel something…get it checked out. It's better to know something than to not know," Randall said.
If you want more information about breast cancer or want to learn more about mammograms, you can learn more at UofL Health's website.