Pregnancy Associated Breast Cancer

Pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC) is defined as breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy or in the first postpartum year.

Breast cancer is the second most common malignancy affecting pregnant women.

It is estimated that one in 3,000 pregnant women is diagnosed with breast cancer and that up to 3% of all breast cancers are associated with pregnancy.

In general, breast cancer in young women is rare; the estimated incidence of breast cancer in women younger than 40 years of age was less than 4% in 2015 in the United States.

However, by definition, PABC occurs in women of reproductive age, and the average age of women with PABC is between 32 and 38 years of age.

The birth rate for women age 30 to 44 years has been steadily increasing in the past few decades, and as more women are delaying childbearing for various reasons, the incidence of PABC has risen and is expected to continue to rise.

As in non-PABC, the risk of PABC seems to be age related.

A large Canadian population cohort study using birth data from a national registry reported that PABC appeared to be more common among women with a first-term pregnancy occurring after the age of 35.

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