Breast cancer is much more common among older women, but it does sometimes occur in younger women. Actress Christina Applegate, diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36 in April 2008, is an example. Applegate first underwent a lumpectomy, but after learning that she had the BRCA genetic mutation (aka the "breast cancer gene"), she opted for a double mastectomy.
While appearing on Oprah Winfrey's talk show in 2008, Applegate admitted it was an incredibly emotional experience, but also noted that it gave her the opportunity "to go out and fight as hard as I can for early detection."
Sheryl Crow may be best known for her music, but she also has used her celebrity status as a breast cancer survivor to help raise awareness about the importance of early detection. In 2006, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy and radiation treatment. According to questions she answered on CNN.com in 2006, Crow had no signs or symptoms, but her cancer was detected via her yearly screening mammogram. She encourages all women, especially those with dense breasts like herself, not to skip this important exam.