Thursday, February 29, 2024
HomeFactsCan Teens Get Breast Cancer

Can Teens Get Breast Cancer

Screening For Cancers In Teens

How to Check for the Signs of Male Breast Cancer | Lorraine

Screening is testing for a disease such as cancer in people who dont have any symptoms. Cancers are not common between ages 15 and 19, so there are no widely recommended screening tests to look for cancer in people in this age group who are not at increased risk.

Some people have a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer because of a strong family history or because they’ve inherited a specific gene mutation from a parent. These might put a person at higher risk for cancers such as melanoma of the skin or colorectal, thyroid, or other cancers. People with these mutations may need careful, regular exams or tests starting at an early age to look for signs of cancer.

Can A Teenager Survive Breast Cancer

Surviving teen breast cancer Breast cancer, in general, is survivable with prompt treatment. This is particularly true of noninvasive breast cancers, and of breast cancers that have not spread to other areas of the body. Treatments often include chemotherapy, radiation, medication, surgery, or a combination of these.

Finding Cancer In Adolescents

Cancers are often found later in teens than they are in other age groups. There are a number of reasons the diagnosis of cancer might be delayed:

  • Most teens tend to be fairly healthy and might not go to the doctor unless they feel they really need to. This is especially true for young men.
  • These years are often a time of growing independence, when young people begin to establish their own identity and lifestyle. Concerns other than health, such as spending time with friends, dating, working, or getting ready for college are often higher priority than health at this time. Many teens might not even have a regular doctor.
  • Even when a young person does go to the doctor with symptoms, cancer is not usually high on the list of probable causes because its not common in this age group. Doctors might be more likely to think symptoms like pain or feeling tired are due to causes other than cancer.

Still, some cancers in teens can be found early, when treatment is more likely to be successful.

You May Like: What Are The Odds Of Surviving Triple Negative Breast Cancer

The Emotional Toll Of Breast Cancer

Younger women are more likely to be affected to the point of depression if they feel overwhelmed by the disease. In addition, unlike older breast cancer patients, they generally lack a strong peer support system

“I think when you’re older you expect it more… it’s not something that’s atypical for your peer group,” said Bryndza’s doctor, Dr. Dawn Hershman, co-director of the breast cancer program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center. “When you’re young you feel like you’re the only one. Everybody wants to help but no one knows what it’s like.”

But younger women may not want empathy, craving normality instead. Often, the greatest source of anxiety for a young woman with breast cancer is not the disease — it’s whether their peers will treat them differently. Both Thompson and Bryndza said they felt the most anxious about heading back to school.

“Because she was so young, she did not know exactly what was, and that helped her deal with it,” Anderson said. “But she was worried about her peers — if they were going to talk about her as if she had a disease… She didn’t want a lot of young people to know. I guess because she didn’t understand herself what was going on, they might not understand either.”

And the intensity of the cancer experience can be too much for some. Bryndza had a boyfriend when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and said he was supportive, but eventually, the stress took a toll on their relationship.

Learning What To Expect

Breast Cancer: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Learning about cancer and how its treated can help you prepare for the days ahead. This may help you to feel less anxious. Some of what you have seen or heard about cancer may not apply to your family member. Keep in mind that cancer is a group of related diseases not just one disease. Doctors have found more than 100 different types of cancer. Each has different treatments and different outcomes. You can learn more about cancer and how its treated in chapter 2 and 3 of When Your Parent Has Cancer: A Guide for Teens and in chapters 2 and 3 of When Your Brother or Sister Has Cancer: A Guide for Teens. You can also learn more about becoming a stem cell donor, in chapter 4.

I was so scared when I found out that my brother had cancer. Then we learned from his doctor that most kids survive this type of cancer.

Read Also: Is Stage Two Breast Cancer Curable

How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed

Breast cancer in children is diagnosed with a physical exam to look for breast changes such as:

  • A lump in the breast
  • Changes in the size or shape of the breasts
  • Dimpling skin on the breast
  • Pulling in of a nipple
  • Discoloration of breast skin

Tests used to confirm a diagnosis of breast cancer include:

  • 3D tomosynthesis is a special new type of digital mammogram
  • Breast magnetic resonance imaging
  • Not usually used to screen for breast cancer but may be used in the following situations:
  • Screening young women, espceially those with dense breasts, who have an increased risk of breast cancer
  • Screening for breast cancer in women diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes
  • Screening of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer with extremely dense breasts on mammograms
  • Biopsy, in which samples of tissue from the breast are removed and examined
  • Is Teen Breast Cancer Common

    Its normal for your breasts to change as you enter your teenage years. Increases and decreases in female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, may make your breasts tender.

    Hormones can also cause you to feel thickening, and even some lumps and bumps, in your breasts as your period comes and goes each month.

    Could those lumps and bumps be cancer? Its not likely. Its almost unheard of for girls ages 14 years and younger to develop breast cancer.

    The chances increase slightly as girls move through their teenage years, but breast cancer in this age group is still very rare.

    Between 2012 and 2016, the incidence rate for female breast cancer in 15- to 19-year-olds in the United States was

    • It seems fixed to the chest wall and doesnt move around.
    • It ranges in size from about the size of a pea to several inches in diameter.
    • It might be painful.

    Nipple discharge and having the nipple invert inward are possible symptoms of breast cancer in adult women. However, theyre not very common in teens with cancer.

    Also Check: How Does Breast Cancer Metastasis To The Brain

    Can Breast Cancer In Younger Women Be Prevented

    For women with a family history that is suggestive of a hereditary predisposition for breast cancer, a referral for genetic counseling may be appropriate. Identifying such genetic conditions will allow for a more personalized discussion on screening and preventive treatment options. For example, screening in BRCA mutation carriers begins at the age of 25.

    Measures that all women can take to reduce breast cancer risk include:

    • Achieving and maintaining ideal body weight
    • Limiting alcohol consumption
    • Getting regular exercise

    That being said, if breast cancer does develop, early detection and prompt treatment can significantly increase a woman’s chances of survival. More than 90% of women whose breast cancer is found in an early stage will survive.

    Young women should be counseled on breast awareness and to report any breast changes to their healthcare provider. These changes can include:

    Types Of Cancers That Develop In Adolescents

    Arlington teen battling Stage 4 breast cancer

    Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can then spread to other areas of the body. To learn more about cancer and how it starts and spreads, see What Is Cancer?

    For statistical purposes, cancers in adolescents are often thought of as those that start between the ages of 15 and 19. Cancer is not common in teens, but a variety of cancer types can occur in this age group, and treating these cancers can be challenging for a number of reasons.

    Most cancers occur in older adults. Cancers that start in childhood are much less common. The types of cancers that develop in children are often different from the types that develop in adults. Childhood cancers are often the result of DNA changes in cells that take place very early in life, sometimes even before birth. Unlike many cancers in adults, childhood cancers are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors.

    The types of cancers that occur in adolescents are a mix of many of the types that can develop in children and adults. The types of cancers seen in adolescents are not unique to this age group, but the most common types are different from those most common in young children or adults.

    Recommended Reading: How To Treat Stage 4 Breast Cancer

    Breast Lumps In Adolescents: Causes

    • Breast masses in teens are almost always benign .
    • Breast cancer is very rare in teens
    • Fibroadenoma: most breast masses in teens are fibroadenomas. They are 1 inch oval or round, rubbery, non-tender mass. Most often in upper-outer quadrant of breast. Not associated with breast cancer. Natural course: 50% go away within 5 years, others need removal.
    • Juvenile fibroadenomas: breast masses that are larger than 2 inches in size. Benign, but need to be removed by surgery.
    • Breast abscess: this is a red, painful lump. Main cause is Staph bacteria. Main triggers are nipple injury, nipple piercing or lactation . Needs oral antibiotics and needle removal of the pus.
    • Breast collections of blood from injury: may take weeks or months to resolve.

    Tips For Asking Others For Help

    You and your family need support from others. It can be hard to ask. Yet most of the time people really want to help, so don’t hesitate to ask. Help your family to make a plan that considers:

    • People who may be able to help: Grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, people in your religious community, school nurses, and guidance counselors are all people you can ask for help.
    • Ways people can help: People can help by giving rides to school or sports events, helping with homework, or giving your family practical help such as grocery shopping, making meals, or mowing the lawn.

    Make a list with your parents of what needs to get done. Talk about people who might be able to help. Keep the list by the phone. When people ask what they can do, pull out the list. Ask about websites you can use to get practical support from people who care and can help.

    You May Like: Does Breast Cancer Kill You

    Treatment Of Breast Cancer In Teens

    Doctors treat secretory adenocarcinoma by surgically cutting out the cancer while sparing as much breast tissue as possible.

    Doctors consider chemotherapy and radiation on a case-by-case basis. The risks these treatments pose to young, developing bodies may outweigh the benefits.

    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:

    Managing Stress When A Family Member Has Cancer

    Pin on Mastectomy/Breast Surgery/Recovery

    You may be so focused on your family member with cancer that you don’t think about your own needs, or if you do, they don’t seem important. But, they are! It’s important to “stay fit”both inside and out.

    These tips have helped others deal with stress. Pick one or two things to do each week:

    • Stay connected. Stay involved with sports, clubs, or other activities you enjoy.
    • Relax and get enough sleep. Take breaks. You will have more energy and be in a better frame of mind. Get at least 8 hours of sleep. Pray or meditate. Make or listen to music.
    • Help others. Join a walk against cancer. Plan a charity event to collect money.
    • Avoid risky behaviors. Stay away from smoking, drinking, and other risky behaviors.
    • Put your creative side to work. Keep a journal to write down your thoughts and experiences. Draw, paint, or take photographs. Read about people who have made it through tough times. Get inspired by what they achieved and who they became.
    • Eat and drink well. Drink plenty of water each day. Grab fresh fruit, whole-grain breads, and lean meats like chicken or turkey when you have a choice. Avoid foods that have a lot of sugar.
    • Be active. Exercise can make you feel better. Play a sport or walk to improve your mood.

    Don’t Miss: End Stage Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms

    Warning Signs Suggestive Of Breast Cancer


    If a doctor says, Teens dont get breast cancer, find another doctor. Though this statement is no reason to panic, it is medically FALSE.

    Remember, if just ONE person on the planet of a particular age group has a certain medical condition, then its FALSE to state, People in that age group dont get that condition.

    The lump seems fixed in place does not move around.

    Its harder than just rubbery. 17

    It may be painful, but not usually.

    Absence of nipple discharge or puckering does NOT rule out a malignancy.

    If youre still panicking, even though your doctor has assured you that youre in perfect health, then turn that fear into a full-force commitment to healthy lifestyle habits.

    Do not smoke or drink. Avoid illegal drugs. Snack on natural foods like fruits, vegetables, green salads, nuts and seeds. EXERCISE

    Dr. Johnson performs lumpectomies, and skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomies, breast ultrasounds, needle core biopsies, infusaport placements, genetic testing and counseling, plus works with radiation oncologists to treat breast cancer using intraoperative radiation therapy.
    Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.

    What Is Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast become abnormal and grow out of control.

    Breast cancer can occur in both female and male children, however, most breast tumors in children are benign .

    Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in females age 15 to 39 years, though it accounts for only 5% of all breast cancer cases. Breast cancer in this younger group tends to be more aggressive and difficult to treat.

    Recommended Reading: How Long Does Radiation Treatment Last For Breast Cancer

    Are Women Under 40 At Risk For Breast Cancer

    Younger women generally do not consider themselves to be at risk for breast cancer. However, breast cancer can strike at any age: 5% of breast cancer cases occur in women under 40 years of age. All women should be aware of their personal risk factors for breast cancer.

    There are several factors that put a woman at higher risk for developing breast cancer, including:

    • A personal history of breast cancer or a high risk lesion found by biopsy
    • A family history of breast cancer, particularly at an early age
    • A family history that is concerning for a genetic syndrome that may put them at a higher risk for breast cancer
    • History of radiation therapy to the chest
    • A known genetic mutation conferring a high risk for the development of breast cancer
    • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry

    Breast Cancer And Teenage Girls

    Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer | Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

    If youre a teenage girl, you might be worried about your risk of getting breast cancer.

    Developing breast cancer when youre a teenager is extremely rare. Its also uncommon in women in their 20s and 30s. The vast majority of breast cancers are diagnosed in women over the age of 50.

    There can be a lot of unreliable information and scare stories on the internet, so its important to use reputable websites or talk to your GP if youre worried about any changes to your breasts. You can also call our Helpline free on 0808 800 6000 to speak with one of our experts.

    You May Like: What Does Non Invasive Breast Cancer Mean

    I Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer For The First Time At Age 16

    In this essay, Nikia Hammonds-Blakely talks about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 16, as told to Brittney McNamara.

    I was a sophomore in high school, getting ready for school one morning, when I felt a lump. I was not intentionally trying to do a self breast exam, I was just taking a shower. The lump was in my left breast, and though time passed after I found it, it wasnt going away.

    Though I was just 16 years old at the time and had no family history, that lump turned out to be a very rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. So before Id even attended my first prom, my doctor recommended I have a double mastectomy a procedure to remove both of my breasts. I really dont have words for how out of body that moment felt. Id never been to the hospital for anything not so much as a sprained ankle. Everything about my diagnosis was beyond my comprehension. It wasnt like I could go to one of my friends, or even a family member and say, hey girl, how did you deal? I didnt even know it was possible that a teen could get breast cancer. Still, as I sat in my doctors office with my mother, thats what I was told.

    This, of course, extended well beyond the prom. I would get undressed and look in the mirror every day, and I saw the disfigurement. I felt like a monster I wondered if anybody would love me I wondered if I would get married, or if I would ever have a child and breastfeed.


    Popular Articles