‘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
Can You Have 2 Cancers In Same Breast
|Aug 14, 2010 – 2:43 am|
When i was at my doc’s they just happened to state something about my CANCERS…i said you mean cancer not cancers…she said no you had two different types of cancer…I was floored cuz nobody told me this and im just finding out now. What the heck!Anyway she said i had DCIS and IDC both in the same breast. Has anyone had 2 different types like this or am i an odd ball with all the weird corks again or still.Man this has just been one weird week.
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.
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What If I Have A Lump In My Breast
As you grow and develop, you will probably notice small lumps and other changes in your breasts. You might also find your breasts are sensitive and tender around the time of your period. If you feel a lump in your breast, don’t panic breast cancer is extremely rare in teens. For teen girls, the most common type of breast lump is usually just part of normal breast growth.
Lots of girls and women have something called fibrocystic breast changes. This is when small fluid-filled cysts in the breasts change size based on where a girl is in her menstrual cycle. Because these cysts have to do with normal hormone changes, they are typically more obvious and may hurt a bit just before a girl’s period. Fibrocystic breast changes are nothing to worry about and don’t need any kind of medical treatment.
Infections also can cause breast lumps. So can an injury to the breast like getting hit in the chest while playing sports.
If you’re worried about a lump in your breast, talk to your doctor. Also call your doctor if you have any of these problems:
- pain in your breast that seems unrelated to your period
- a red, hot, or swollen breast
- fluid or bloody discharge from your nipple
- a lump in your armpit or near your collarbone
Most breast lumps are nothing to worry about, but it always helps to talk to a doctor or nurse about what to expect as your breasts grow. Getting checked out gives you peace of mind.
Breast Changes And Conditions
As you await follow-up test results, remember that most breast changes are not cancer.
You may have just received an abnormal mammogram result, or perhaps you or your health care provider found a breast lump or other breast change. Keep in mind that breast changes are very common, and most are not cancer. This page can help you learn about symptoms during your lifetime that are not cancer as well as follow-up tests used to diagnose breast conditions and treatments for specific breast conditions.
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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.
Getting A Breast Biopsy
In a breast biopsy, the doctor takes out small pieces of breast tissue to check them for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only way to tell for sure if you have breast cancer.
There are many types of biopsies. Ask your doctor what kind you will need. Each type has risks and benefits. The choice of which type to use depends on your own case.
Sometimes, surgery is needed to take out all or part of the lump to find out if its cancer. This is often done in a hospital using local anesthesia . You might also be given medicine to make you sleepy.
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Tips For Learning About Your Cancer
Besides information on your specific cancer, here are some other ways to find information:
Ask questions at your doctors appointments. Ask about the cancer, your symptoms, and your treatment plan. You can bring a family member or friend to your appointments to help take notes and remember things.
Do online research using reliable cancer information websites. You can ask your health care team or a librarian where to find good information online. Learn how to evaluate cancer information on the Internet.
Talk with your doctor about anything you hear or read that you have questions about.
Join a teen or young adult support group. Support groups are available online or in person for many cancers.
Breast Cancer As A Teenager
I suppose the title says it all, but I am fourteen and have been diagnosed with breast cancer I have also have been told that they cannot operate until 16, or perform a mammogram until 16 either… fighting a losing battle against my own body I suppose?
I am so sorry to hear about your breast cancer diagnosis at such a young age. Can you have any treatment in the meantime, or do you have to wait until you are 16 for that too?
Try to continue to stay as fit as you can and eat a good healthy diet. Is there any cancer in your family, or are you just unfortuate?
I hope that something can be done to help you before your 16th birthday.
I’m just so sorry to hear that you are going through this at all, nevermind at such a young age. Are you 14 or 15? Its just that I saw one of your other posts and you said you were 15, I get brain fog so excuse me being confused! Haha. But I saw your other post, where your mum was diagnosed with breast cancer too. I really don’t know what to say, my mum has an aggressive form of breast cancer too, and I myself am bed bound, which I know is a lot different to cancer, but I just want you to know that I understand what it’s like when your mum has cancer and when you’re ill yourself. Much like yourself, my mum is my best friend, so it’s been such a heartbreaking time since her diagnosis.
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Causes Of Breast Cancer In Teens
Doctors arent entirely sure what causes teenage breast cancer because there are so few cases.
In general, though, its thought that childhood cancers develop because of changes in cells and DNA that occur early in life. These changes can even happen while youre still in the womb.
However, if you introduce these unhealthy behaviors early in life, they can increase your risk for breast cancer when youre older.
Health Disparities In Young African Americans
In addition to these unique issues, research has shown that young African American women face even greater challenges.
- African American women under age 35 have rates of breast cancer two times higher than caucasian women under age 35.14
- African Americans under age 35 die from breast cancer three times as often as caucasian women of the same age.14
- Researchers believe that access to healthcare and the quality of healthcare available may explain these disparities. But scientists continue to investigate.
- Research also shows that young African Americans are more likely to get aggressive forms of breast cancer than anyone else.14
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Swelling In Or Around Your Breast Collarbone Or Armpit
Swelling in these areas can occur for many reasons but may indicate cancer. Breast swelling can be caused by certain types of breast cancer. Swelling or lumps around your collarbone or armpits can be caused by breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes in those areas. The swelling can occur even before you can feel a lump in your breast. If you have swelling, be sure to let your health care team know as soon as possible.
What Is The Prognosis For People With Inflammatory Breast Cancer
IBC usually develops quickly and spreads to other tissues outside the breast. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing the condition as effectively as possible.
Doctors use a system made up of four stages to diagnose all types of cancer. IBC is stage III or stage IV when it is diagnosed.
Because IBC is aggressive, and because it is found later than other cancers, the outlook for people with this condition is generally not as good as for other types of breast cancer. Still, some people have lived many years after an IBC diagnosis. Your doctor can explain your individual prognosis to you.
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What Will The Doctor Do
Sometimes a doctor will discover a lump in a woman’s breast during a routine examination or a patient might come to the doctor with questions about a lump she found.
In other cases, a mammogram may find a lump in the breast that can’t be felt. A mammogram is a special kind of X-ray of the breast that helps doctors see what’s going on inside. Sometimes, other kinds of pictures, like an MRI, also can be taken.
When a lump is found, the doctor will want to test it. The best way to do this is usually with a biopsy. In a biopsy, a small amount of breast tissue is removed with a needle or during a small operation. Then, the tissue is examined under a microscope to look for cancer cells.
The biopsy may be benign , which means the lump is not cancer. If the biopsy shows cancer cells, the lump is malignant . If a breast lump does contains cancer cells, the woman, along with her doctor and family, will decide what to do next.
How Common Is It
Breast cancer isnt common in women under 40.
A womans risk of breast cancer throughout her 30s is just 1 in 227, or about 0.4 percent. By age 40 to 50, the risk is roughly 1 in 68, or about 1.5 percent. From age 60 to 70, the chance increases to 1 in 28, or 3.6 percent.
Out of all types of cancer, though, breast cancer is the most common among U.S. women. A womans risk of developing breast cancer during her lifetime is about 12 percent.
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How Are Breast Lumps Treated In Children
Most breast lumps in children dont need treatment if they are not getting bigger or causing pain.
- A breast lump may only need to be monitored by a doctor to see if the lump gets larger or begins hurting.
- An ultrasound of the lump may be used to help diagnose what type of lump it is.
- The doctor may take a biopsy .
Lumps that are growing quickly may need to be surgically removed. This is done with a procedure called a lumpectomy .
Types Of Breast Lumps That Teens Can Get
The most common type of breast cancer found in teens is secretory adenocarcinoma. This is generally a slow growing, nonaggressive cancer.
Though theres little chance of this type of cancer spreading to other parts of the body, spread to local lymph nodes has been noted in a few cases.
Most breast lumps in teenage girls are fibroadenomas, which are noncancerous. An overgrowth of connective tissue in the breast causes fibroadenomas.
The lump is usually hard and rubbery, and you can move it around with your fingers. Fibroadenomas account for 91 percent of all solid breast masses in girls younger than 19 years old.
Other less common breast lumps in teens include cysts, which are noncancerous fluid-filled sacs.
Banging or injuring breast tissue, possibly during a fall or while playing sports, can also cause lumps.
If you feel anything unusual in your breast, see your doctor. They will ask:
- about your familys medical history
- when you discovered the lump
- if theres nipple discharge
- if the lump hurts
If anything looks or feels suspicious, your doctor will have you undergo an ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to see into your breasts. It can help determine whether a lump is solid, which is an indication of cancer.
If its fluid-filled, that will most likely indicate a cyst. Your doctor may also insert a fine needle into the lump to draw out tissue and test it for cancer.
A Lump In Your Breast
A lump or mass in the breast is the most common symptom of breast cancer. Lumps are often hard and painless, although some are painful. However, not all lumps are cancer. Benign breast conditions that can also cause lumps.
Still, its important to have your doctor check out any new lump or mass right away. If it does turn out to be cancer, the sooner its diagnosed the better.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors You Can Control
- Physical activity. The less you move, the higher your chances.
- Weight and diet. Being overweight after menopause raises your odds.
- Alcohol. Regular drinking — especially more than one drink a day — increases the risk of breast cancer.
- Reproductive history.
- You donât have a full-term pregnancy.
Still, most women who are at high risk for breast cancer donât get it. On the other hand, 75% of women who develop breast cancer have no known risk factors. Learn more about the risk factors for breast cancer.
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Cancer Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
| Español |
In an effort to stay safe from coronavirus, many of us have put off the annual screenings and check-ups where cancers are often caught. That’s understandable. Still, early detection is one of the best weapons against the disease.
Screenings can detect a cancer before symptoms appear. You too can pick up on early warning signs by paying close attention to changes in your body. If you notice something new or different that lasts several weeks and several weeks is key reach out to your health care provider. Not every symptom that could be cancer is cancer. But here are 17 symptoms that may warrant a call to your doctor:
Can Cancer Form In Other Parts Of The Breast
Cancers can also form in other parts of the breast, but these types of cancer are less common. These can include:
- Angiosarcomas. This type of cancer begins in the cells that make up the lining of blood or lymph vessels. These cancers can start in breast tissue or breast skin. They are rare.
- Inflammatory breast cancer. This type of cancer is rare and different from other types of breast cancer. It is caused by obstructive cancer cells in the skins lymph vessels.
- Paget disease of the breast, also known as Paget disease of the nipple. This cancer affects the skin of the nipple and areola .
- Phyllodes tumors. These are rare, and most of these masses are not cancer. However, some are cancerous. These tumors begin in the breasts connective tissue, which is called the stroma.
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