Can A 16 Year Old Get Breast Cancer?

Question

Asked by rjune42

Can A 16 Year Old Get Breast Cancer?

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?

Answer

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.

Answered by PJ Hamel