‘lightning Strikes’ When Young Girls Get Breast Cancer
Young women experience unique problems when diagnosed with breast cancer.
It started with a casual mention to her mother that she felt a quarter-sized lump in her right breast. Doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. She was 13 years old.
“I couldn’t tell her, I was just crying,” said her mother, Stephanie Anderson, when she learned of Taylor’s diagnosis. “I thought, ‘How am I going to explain this to my 13-year-old daughter about breast cancer?’ When I tried to talk to her, it just would not come out.”
The lump Thompson found in her breast was a type of fast-growing, potentially malignant tumor generally found in premenopausal women, not in girls Thompson’s age.
In fact, oncologists said finding cancerous breast cells in girls as young as Thompson is akin to being struck by lightning.
“They face issues all breast cancer patients face — dealing with a potentially life-threatening illness, mortality, toxic treatments, breast surgery,” said Dr. Ann Partridge, director of the Young Women and Breast Cancer program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass. “But a person who is young deals with those at an age when they have their own so these are accentuated.”
Breast Cancer in Young Patients Is Rare
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
Ductal carcinoma in situ is considered non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer. In DCIS , cells that lined the ducts have changed to look like cancer cells. The difference between DCIS and invasive cancer is that the cells have not spread through the walls of the ducts into the surrounding tissue of the breast . DCIS is considered a pre-cancer because some cases can go on to become invasive cancers. Right now, though, there is no good way to know for certain which cases will go on to become invasive cancers and which ones wont. DCIS accounts for about 1 in 10 cases of breast cancer in men. It is almost always curable with surgery.
Replacing Fear With Facts
To deflate unrealistic fears, young girls living in the breast-cancer-awareness era need accurate information and reassurance.
More than 20% of the girls we surveyed believe that breast cancer is caused by infection, tanning, drug use, stress, and breast injury or bruising. The fact is, none of these are risk factors. And, sadly, few girls surveyed knew how to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime.
It is also clear that without accessible and accurate information, girls can mistake regular breast development changes as symptoms of breast cancer.
Bottom line: our girls lack information that can empower them to establish breast-healthy behaviors to reduce the risk of ever getting breast cancer.
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Lobular Carcinoma In Situ
Lobular carcinoma in situ may also be called lobular neoplasia. In LCIS, cells that look like cancer cells are growing in the lobules of the milk-producing glands of the breast, but they havent grown through the wall of the lobules. LCIS is not a true pre-invasive cancer because it does not turn into an invasive cancer if left untreated, but it is linked to an increased risk of invasive cancer in both breasts. LCIS is rarely, if ever seen in men.
What Is Pediatric And Adolescent Breast Pathology
Breast pathology is an abnormal area of development or an abnormal growth in the breast. In rare cases, breast abnormalities can occur from birth. Athelia and amastia may occur on one side or in both breasts.
An extra breast or extra nipple occurs in about 1 percent of the population, and are slightly more common in males than in females. This extra tissue may cause discomfort during menstrual cycles and may need to be removed.
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Treating Ovarian Cancer In Teens
Your teens doctor may suggest treatment options weighing the benefits and risks along with the stage of cancer. Most may undergo surgical recession of cancer and radiation or chemotherapy before or after surgery based on the type and spread of cancer.
Generally, ovarian cancers are managed with local and systemic treatments. Local treatments do not affect the rest of the body and include the following .
- Surgical excision or removal of ovarian cancer.
- Radiation therapy may often be used for distant or near-metastatic tumors from ovarian cancer.
Systemic therapies involve the treatment of cancer with drugs for optimum effect on malignant cells anywhere in the body. These chemotherapy drugs can be taken orally or intravenously.
The following are types of systemic therapies for ovarian cancer .
- Chemotherapy: It is a treatment using drugs such as taxane, cisplatin, etc., and can be given intraperitoneally .
- Hormone therapy: It involves treatment with hormones and hormone inhibiting drugs. This method is useful in treating stromal cancers of the ovaries that cause the secretion of ovarian hormones.
- Targeted therapy: The drug therapy use specific drugs or substances that may damage only cancer cells and spare normal cells from damage. Bevacizumab or Avastin is a drug that could target abnormal cells of the affected ovary.
Safety Of Protein Powder
Many teens are convinced that the only way to get the protein requirements they need is through daily supplements of protein powder. Some of this idea can be credited to the protein powder industry targeting teens. Adolescents may also turn to protein powders if they are experiencing body image issues. Research has revealed that body image is an issue for around two-thirds of adolescent boys and girls, split between those who want weight loss and those who want weight gain. However, too much protein in a teens diet can lead to long-term health problems such as organ damage, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
According to registered dietitian Eleanor Baker, M.S., in a phone interview, safety should be the primary concern when it comes to teens and protein powders.
My first thought when I talk with anyone about supplements: Is it safe and has it been tested? For teens, or anyone who is looking to protein powder as a supplement in their diet, they should look for and choose protein powders that have been tested by third parties. A third-party testing allows us to verify that the supplement contains what it advertises. This is very important not only for safety reasons but also for teens who are in sports and drug tested. It is not uncommon for an unverified supplement to contain unlisted ingredients that can be banned substances in athlete drug tests.
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Complications Of Ovarian Cancer In A Teenager
Complications of ovarian cancers can arise due to changes in hormone levels in functional ovarian cancers and the growing ovarian mass. Surgical removal of ovaries can also cause complications due to hormonal imbalance if hormone replacement therapy is not initiated. These complications may include :
- Mood changes
- Early menopause symptoms such as osteoporosis, vaginal dryness, and decreased sexual desires
Survivors may develop second cancers of the same or other tissues or organs in later life. The following second cancers are common among primary ovarian cancer survivors .
- Colon cancer
- Bone cancer
Regular follow-ups and the continuation of chemotherapy may help reduce the risk of secondary cancers.
The use of oral contraceptives and certain contraceptive devices may reduce the chance of ovarian cancer. Pregnancy till term and breastfeeding may also act as protective factors. However, teenage or adolescent pregnancy can have its risks and complications.
Treatment Of Breast Cancer In Teens
Doctors treat secretory adenocarcinoma by surgically cutting out the cancer while sparing as much breast tissue as possible.
Depending on the type of therapy and how long it lasts, it can affect your fertility and increase your chances of other cancers.
You can still breastfeed after breast or nipple surgery. However, some people may produce less milk than others.
85 percent . This means that theyre 85 percent as likely to live another 5 years as 15- to 19-year-old U.S. girls without breast cancer.
The 5-year relative survival rate for women 20 years old and older who were diagnosed between 2011 to 2017 is 90.3 percent .
Because breast cancer is so rare in teens, doctors and teens may adopt a watch-and-wait approach, and delay treatment. That may account for the lower survival rate for teens with breast cancer compared with adult women with the condition.
Breast cancer is extremely rare in teens, but you should still check abnormalities. Adopting certain habits now can also help prevent breast cancer later. These include:
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Going To Your Gp During Coronavirus
During the coronavirus crisis, its still really important to call your GP if youre worried about any of these symptoms.
Right now, because of the coronavirus crisis, your GP appointment might be by phone or video. If you do need to see a professional face-to-face, theyll make sure you can do this safely.
Breast Cancer Screening In Teens
Although it is not typically recommended for women under 40 to undergo breast screening annually, its important for those teens experiencing symptoms to receive breast screening. Regular screening done at least every 3 years is recommended for women in their 20s. However, the American Cancer Society recommends that all women know how their breasts look and feel, and report any changes to their doctors. For younger women, digital mammography is recommended rather than a standard mammogram. It is most effective at identifying abnormalities in dense breast tissues.
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What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk
If several members of your family have had breast or ovarian cancer, or one of your family members has a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, share this information with your doctor. Your doctor may refer you for genetic counseling. In men, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can increase the risk of breast cancer, high-grade prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
Why Do Girls Need Them
Most teens don’t need breast exams. That’s because it’s rare for girls to have breast problems. Doctors usually just look at a girl’s breasts during her yearly gyn checkup to see where she is in her development. But if you have a family history of breast problems, your doctor or nurse might give you a breast exam.
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Treatment At A Glance
Treatment for breast cancer depends on how far the disease has spread and your general health when you are diagnosed. Some treatment options include:
- Surgery:In these cases, a lumpectomy or mastectomy is carried out. A lumpectomy includes the removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue. A mastectomy involves the removal of the whole breast.
- Radiation:Using cancer-killing beams, radiation therapy targets undetected cancer cells, further reducing the risk of cancer returning.
- Hormone therapy:This treatment is effective for those breast cancers that are affected by hormones in the blood.
- Chemotherapy: This is usually given after breast surgery but before radiation, and uses drugs directly injected into the vein via a needle or taken in pill form to target and kill cancer cells.
How Do Young People Get This Disease In The First Place
Dr. Johnson explains, The exact etiology is unknown, as it is in most breast cancers. Young women are more known to have a genetic mutation associated with their breast cancer as opposed to older women, but this has not been demonstrated to be the leading risk factor.
More research is needed to identify causative factors in this patient population.
Though the National Cancer Institute says that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in females 15 to 54, this isnt as frightening as it seems.
First off, included in this statistic are women 50 to 54. In fact, the inclusion of women 40 to 49 is also significant.
The vast majority of those cancer deaths in that age range are in women over 40.
But still, what about the inclusion of teens in this statistic?
That teenagers 15 to 19 are included in this statistic simply reflects the fact that teens are less likely to die from heart disease, Alzheimers disease, liver disease, kidney failure and stroke!
Thus, the statistic of 15 to 54 needs to be put into some serious context.
Another point to consider: No matter how rare a medical condition is in a certain demographic, its very existence in that demographic means that the answer must be Yes when the question is asked if it can occur in that specific demographic.
In other words, if only ONE 17-year-old in the history of mankind developed breast cancer, this would validate saying, Yes, a 17-year-old can get breast cancer.
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Are Protein Powders Safe For Teens
by Health Writer
If your teen is like mine, protein-based supplements, or protein powders, have become a requirement after any workout in order to build as much muscle as possible. Other teens rely on protein supplements to stay fuller longer in order to lose weight. But do you know how much protein your teen actually needs and what types of protein are best for him? It is also important to be aware that too much protein can be harmful for your adolescent.
Breast Lumps In Teens: Are They Dangerous
by Patient Expert
Teenage girls are usually frightened when they find a lump in their breast. And a girls parents can be even more panicked, rushing their daughter to the doctor to find out if she has breast cancer. Realistically speaking, breast cancer is nearly a statistical impossibility so what causes breast lumps in teens?
Attention, teenage girls : theres very little chance that the lump you feel in your breast is breast cancer.
How little? Well, according to the governments cancer statistics, women between the ages of 15 and 19 are diagnosed with breast cancer at a rate of .2 per 100,000 per year. That translates to two older teens in a million being diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year.
For younger teens , the risk is even lower. There are so few under-15s diagnosed with breast cancer that they dont show up in the statistics. That means fewer than 1 young teenage American girl in a million receives a breast cancer diagnosis in any particular year.
Cancer can be deadly. And its certainly scary. But for teens, you have to like the odds, right? Theyre certainly better than the 1 in 28 breast cancer risk that older women face.
So now that weve put the unrealistic specter of cancer in its place what about those breast lumps?
Fibroadenomas and fibrocystic change
Scar tissue from trauma
When to see a doctor
Accessed December 30, 2015..
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Anorexia
Although the exact cause of anorexia is unknown, it may result from a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors.
People with first-degree relatives with an eating disorder and those suffering from depression or anxiety disorders may be more likely to develop an eating disorder. Modern Western culture, peer pressure, participation in activities that value leanness, such as ballet, or skating, are other factors that can fuel the desire to be thin, particularly among young girls.
Prevention Of Ovarian Cancer In Teens
There is no known way to prevent ovarian cancer . The risk factors may only slightly increase the possibility of ovarian cancers. So avoiding risk factors may not always prevent cancer.
A few measures, such as early pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc., can be useful in preventing epithelial tumors, which are common in older women. However, the germ cell tumors that are common among teens may not be prevented by these methods.
If a teen has a history of cancer, then follow up care and tests after treatment may prevent a recurrence. Although the cancer is treated, these visits may be required for many years to identify any early signs of metastasis or recurrence .
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Teen Girls Fear Breast Cancer
A study found that many teen girls worry about breast cancer and think their risk of breast cancer is higher than it really is. The teens also think their mothers and grandmothers have a high risk of breast cancer. The results were reported at the 2008 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Breastcancer.org Chief Medical Officer Marisa Weiss and other Breastcancer.org staff members did the study as part of breast health assemblies for adolescent girls in Philadelphia and Atlanta high schools. Before the assemblies the girls answered questions about breast cancer.
- 26% of the girls said that despite their age they feared developing breast cancer.
- Some girls thought the signs of normal breast development were signs of breast cancer.
- Most of the girls knew a woman diagnosed with breast cancer, often a friend’s mother.
- 3% of the girls had mothers diagnosed with breast cancer.
- More than 3% of the girls thought breast cancer was common in teen girls. In reality, breast cancer is rarely diagnosed in adolescence and early adulthood.
- 79% of the girls thought breast cancer was common among women their mothers’ age, and most of the girls worried that their mothers would develop breast cancer.
- 49% of the girls thought that breast cancer was common among women their grandmothers’ age. In reality, average breast cancer risk over a woman’s lifetime is about 12% — about 1 in 8 women.