Can I Have Breast Cancer At 17 Years Old?

Question

Asked by Hanna_

Can I Have Breast Cancer At 17 Years Old?

I'm a 17-year-old girl and I'm having pains in my left breast. I'm not on my period and I'm not pregnant. Could it be breast cancer?

Answer

The chance of you having breast cancer, at your age, is less than 1 in a million. Please read our message to teens about breast cancer for more on that. 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.  For more on that, please read our teen guide to breast development.

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 though your period has passed, this could be hormonal; again, as you go through puberty, your hormone levels will continue to fluctuate, which can produce on and off breast pain.