Rare Breast Cancer Afflicts 10-Year-Old Girl

May 19, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Most fifth-grade girls happily spend their leisure time taking dancing lessons or running around on a soccer field and obsess over the latest exploits of Hannah Montana along with others of the “tween” set, but not ten year-old Hannah Powell-Auslam of Fullerton, California who is battling breast cancer that rarely strikes girls her age.

Hannah’s parents were shocked at the diagnosis, never expecting that breast cancer would strike their daughter, a type of cancer that primarily affects adult women. Hannah just underwent a mastectomy and next faces a grueling course of chemotherapy that is difficult for adults to deal with, never mind a ten-year old girl.

Doctors have never seen a case of breast cancer in a girl as young as Hannah, but although it’s an extremely rare occurrence, breast cancer can strike girls under 18. At first, Hannah was thought to have an invasive ductal carcinoma at Stage IIA, which is a serious and fast growing cancer that is rarely seen in children of any age.

However, Hannah’s father now says her diagnosis was changed to invasive secretory carcinoma, which doctors say, if true, is good news for Hannah and her family. Invasive secretory carcinoma is a slow growing tumor having a positive prognosis for recovery.

Still, there are only a few hundred confirmed cases of invasive secretory carcinoma in girls Hannah’s age.

Doctors want to caution parents not to unduly worry about their young daughters developing breast cancer noting that it is an extremely rare condition and does not present a public health risk to young girls Hannah’s age.

“This is not a major public health issue, and there is no ‘take home’ message. What we don’t want is a bunch of young girls having unnecessary biopsies or, worse, mammograms,” said Dr. Daniel Hayes, director of the Breast Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.

But Dr. Marisa Weiss, the president and founder of Breastcancer.org and author of the book “Taking Care of Your ‘Girls’: A Breast Health Guide for Girls, Teens, and In-Betweens,” believes it’s never too early to start educating girls on breast health and the importance of conducting self exams. Weiss contends that laying the foundation for regular breast exams at a young age would increase early detection of breast tumors, saving lives.

Meanwhile Hannah is at home recovering and anxious to go back to school and resume her normal fifth-grade life. Her parents are documenting Hannah’s battle with breast cancer on the family blog to educate other families about the rare cancer.

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3 Responses to “Rare Breast Cancer Afflicts 10-Year-Old Girl”

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  3. Girl Positive Online | Most Popular Searches - webmastereye.net on May 20th, 2009 12:36 am

    […] Rare Breast Cancer Afflicts 10-Year-Old Girl | ChattahBox News BlogInvasive secretory carcinoma is a slow growing tumor having a positive prognosis for recovery. Still, there are only a few hundred confirmed cases of invasive secretory carcinoma in girls Hannah’s age. Doctors want to caution parents … Read more […]

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