The Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the only international, non-profit network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to the concerns and issues that are unique to young women and breast cancer. Through action, advocacy and awareness, the YSC seeks to educate the medical, research, breast cancer and legislative communities and to persuade them to address breast cancer in women 40 and under. The YSC also serves as a point of contact for young women living with breast cancer.
The organization was founded by three young breast cancer survivors in 1998. All under the age of 35 at diagnosis, they were discouraged by the lack of information and resources available to young women, and concerned about the under-representation of young women in breast cancer studies.
Unlike their post-menopausal counterparts, young women diagnosed with breast cancer face higher mortality rates, fertility issues and the possibility and ramifications of early menopause. The YSC seeks to change the face of breast cancer by: advocating to increase the number of studies about young women and breast cancer; educating young women about the importance of breast self-examination and early detection; and being a point of contact for other young women with breast cancer.
“‘Young women don’t get breast cancer’ is a refrain we hear frequently,” says Randi Rosenberg, president of the YSC. “Yet, here we are, right in front of the medical and research communities representing the global voice of all young women living with breast cancer. If they begin studying breast cancer in young women, they may unlock the key to why all women are diagnosed with this deadly disease.”Today, the YSC is a growing international group of thousands of survivors and supporters. Embracing the motto, “Action, Advocacy, Awareness,” members attend conferences; lobby federal and state legislators; speak at universities, colleges, and health fairs; and run an annual awareness campaign targeted at the medical community – encouraging doctors and researchers to focus more resources on this underserved segment of the population. The YSC also strives to educate and support young women living with a diagnosis of breast cancer.
The Young Survival Coalition is based in New York City and has local groups throughout the United States.