“How could this happen, I am only 10-years old. I did not even know what cancer was?”
This unfathomable question was asked by Hannah Powell Auslam, the youngest person in America to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
There is 0.1% chance of adolescents and young children developing breast cancer, so why Hannah?
“Usually there is a genetic disposition,” says Dr. Cynara Coomer from Mount Sinai Hospital, New York. “That’s usually the case for young women who develop breast cancer. She may carry the breast cancer gene.”
According to Vitals, Coomer received her MD at Loma Linda University, completed her graduate training at State University of New York and is also presently FOX News Health contributor.
In early April, Hannah complained of itching and noticed a small lump, so her mother brought her to the doctor. She was diagnosed with Stage 11A Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, an adult form of cancer. After undergoing a mastectomy in early May, she found out that the cancer had spread into her lymph nodes. So while other fifth grade girls worry about updating their Facebook profiles, Hannah will likely need further surgery.
Coomer, who hasn’t treated Hannah, feels the girl’s prognosis is positive and that her chances of being disease-free for the next five years is 85%.
“In regards to not creating hysteria, cancer in adolescents is small, but if you find a small lump you should have it checked out. Most of the time it will be benign. And one of the ways young girls can lower their risk is for parents to promote healthy lifestyles-avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, exercising and eating a healthy diet.”