Grown-Up Disease Affects Tweens

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Breast cancer is usually found in adult women, but according to a CNN report, the generally grown-up disease is now being detected in tweens.

Eighth grader Taylor Thompson of Little Rock, Arkansas is only 13, but was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the cancer. Hannah Powell-Auslam of La Mirada, California has no family history of breast cancer, but battled the illness at age 10. Hannah is now cancer-free.

Only seven percent of breast cancer cases occur in women under 40, so finding the disease in tweens is rare, but cases of the troubling trend are still surfacing.

Breast tissue forms during adolescence, so "at any point, if you have that tissue in your body, it can become cancer," said Dr. Jennifer Litton, an assistant professor in the department of breast medical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Breast tissue is found in both men and women, so both sexes can theoretically be affected by the disease, though the probability is slim, doctors told CNN. However, tweens should still be aware of the possibility of it occurring.

Risk for an individual person varies dependent on family history, reproductive history, ethnicity, and other factors, says the National Cancer Institute, and while you can't prevent breast cancer, you can stay healthy to reduce risks by exercising and eating well.

In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the White House hung this large pink ribbon from the North Portico on October 26. For more information, visit www.nbcam.org.

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