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Monday, June 06, 2011 Hanna_, Community Member, asks

Q: I'm 17 years old girl with pains in left breast - Am I having breast cancer?

Hi there! I have a huge problem, I'm so afraid I might have breast cancer! I'm 17 years old girl. So, I'm having pains in my left breast. I don't think it's only one spot though, it's like, the whole thing! I also might have pains on the other side as well, but the right breast's pains are nothing like on the left side. Actually, the pains overall are not something I couldn't live with, I'm just so, so worried about it. Am I going to die? I know I should go to see doctor, but I'm too afraid that I'd get bad news. Oh, and there are not any other symptoms, I think. Like, no weird lumps, except the ones that have been in both of the breasts for years, I think they are breast glands? There's no leaking either. Nor redness. Nor itchiness. Actually they're just like always.. except I kinda think they might have grown a little. They feel a little fuller than before. But wait - is growing even possible in my age, my period started when I was 13. Though the painful left side happens to be the side that’s a little smaller than the right side. I have a little sore throath and also a little fever, the degrees are 37, to be exact. Normally I wouldn't have been concerned by this but since the breast pain I started to think that those are some horrible cancer symptoms as well. I am so scared! I also thought those pains might be caused by period, 'cause the first time I had them, was two weeks before the period started. At that time, it wasn't too bad and it passed in couple days. So last week I had my period, and after the first three days the pain was there again, but worse. I waited for the periods to end, but now that it's been three days since the ending, the pain is still there! That's what worries me the most, if it's not caused by the periods, then what is it? Also, as far as I know, there's not been breast cancer in my family. I can't be pregnant either. Like I've said a couple times already, I'm basically scared to death. I'd be so thankfull for any kind of information! Thank you for your time in advance.
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Answers (1)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
6/ 6/11 1:58pm

Hanna, the chance of you having breast cancer, at your age, is less than 1 in a million. The symptoms you describe aren't typically breast cancer symptoms. And pain in your breasts is quite normal, as you go through puberty; and yes, even at age 17, you're still going through puberty.

 

Since the pain is predominantly on your left side, have you considered a possible heart issue? This would be much more likely than breast cancer. You might also have a painful cyst, which becomes more common as you enter your 20s. Finally, even thugh your period has passed, this could be hormonal.

 

One thing you'll need to learn, as you get older: you can't let fear stand in the way of taking care of your health. What's the ONLY thing that's going to stop you worrying? Having someone tell you, "You don't have breast cancer, but this is why you're feeling pain." I can't do that; no one online can do that. Only a doctor can diagnose what's going on, and offer treatment if necessary.

 

Action trumps worry any day; so best to take a deep breath, call the doctor, make an appointment, and get past your fear, OK? That's absolutely your best course of action. Take care- PJH

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Hanna_, Community Member
6/ 7/11 1:53pm

Thank you so much for helping! Knowing the fact that it's rare in my age was so lightening. Although I got scared in the first place when I googled this and read all this horror stories about people dying in my age, but it seems like it's really not that common, so thanks for that.

 

I engouraged myself and told my mom about this, and she said she'll call the doctor any time. But today, when I woke up, the pain was just suddenly totally different! Firstable, it's not as bad as it was. It doesn't ache the way it used to. I'm starting to think it might be caused by pecs! 'Cause the pain now, is like... well it's really hard to describe, it's like the feeling when you have, for example in your ankle, when it's not quite in place. Then you have this need to roll and turn your ankle or do something like that so it'd feel normal? I'm sorry, this probably made no sense. Basically it feels like that, kinda like something's not in place. It's also kinda like the same feeling you'll get when you run too fast and then get the pain. And it feels like the ache comes from underneath the breast now! It's really weird. 

 

So now that it might get better, I thought about waiting for couple days and see what happens, then call the doctor. You're right - the doctor is the only one who actually can help me! And yes, I thought about the heart problem as well. If I'll go to see the doctor, I'll definately ask about it.

 

I read about the cyst thing you mentioned as well. I don't think there are any special lumps, but I guess it's possible! Thank you for telling about that, and on the whole helped me with this!

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
6/ 7/11 3:07pm

Well, if it seems to be getting better, then probably it's OK to wait and see if it continues to get better. If it doesn't; or if it becomes more painful, then go ahead and see the doctor, OK? In the meantime - relax! Smile PJH

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By Hanna_, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/18/13, First Published: 06/06/11