• rjune42 rjune42
    July 14, 2010
    Can a 16 year old get breast cancer?
    rjune42 rjune42
    July 14, 2010

    I am 16 years old and I recently discovered a big pinkish lump in my right breast. It's become smaller, but hasn't disappeared. My family has a history of breast cancer; two family members have died from it. Could I get breast cancer at this age? Or what could the lump be?

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • PJ Hamel
    Health Guide
    July 15, 2010
    PJ Hamel
    Health Guide
    July 15, 2010

    It's good that you recognize that your family history might put you at increased risk for breast cancer. However, only if your mom or a sister have been diagnosed with breast cancer is your own risk significantly higher.

     

    At your age, your risk of having breast cancer is very, very tiny; please read our message to teens about breast cancer for more information.

     

    Since the lump has changed in size, it's most likely related to your menstrual cycle, and the fact that you're still in puberty; our teen guide to breast development should tell you all you need to know about that.  

     

    Bottom line: mention this breast lump to your doctor or school nurse next time you have a physical. But unless the lump stops changing size, and only grows larger; or certainly if it gets large quickly, in which case it might be an infection, there's probably nothing to worry about.    

     


FROM OUR COMMUNITY

  • nikki11220 December 05, 2010
    nikki11220
    December 05, 2010

    hi, I have a lump underneath my nipple. You cant see it but you can feel it. Its hard, it doesnt move, and sometimes it hurts. should I be concerned, I am only 16. Ive also developed a lump on my leg and my glands are all swollen and I feel faint.

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    • Phyllis Johnson
      December 06, 2010
      Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      December 06, 2010

      Your swollen glands and faint feeling might be from some sort of virus going around.  If so, you will feel better within a week or ten days.  Are you drinking enough fluids and eating a well-balanced diet to prevent faintness?  When girls' breasts begin to develop, there is a hard lump called a breast bud right under the nipple.  If you are starting puberty late, that might be what you are feeling.  If you have already gone through puberty, this lump qualifies as a breast change.  Any breast change that lasts longer than a month needs to be checked out by a doctor.  If you can't remember any bumps or bruises that might account for the leg lump, the doctor needs to look at that too.  It is highly unlikely that these changes as breast cancer which is extremely rare in teenagers; however, there may be some other underlying problem that needs a doctor's treatment.  Probably it will turn out that these problems are unrelated and not serious, but you don't want to ignore them.  Let an adult know who can help you evaluate whether you need to see a doctor right away or whether it's OK to wait a week or two to see if they go away on their own.

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