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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Breast Cancer and Teens

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the United States. Although it is rare, women in their late teens can be diagnosed with breast cancer. Like most other health issues, the younger women start developing good health habits, the beter. Women in their teens should take responsibility for their breast health and do monthly exams, increasing their awareness about their own bodies and increasing the likelihood that any lumps would be detected early, diagnosed, and successfully treated.

The screening guidelines for women include:
1) Breast self-awareness (from late teens) - be familiar with how their breasts look and feel, reporting any changes to their doctors;
2) Clinical breast exam (age 20 to 39) - have a doctor exam breasts every one to three years;
3) Annual mammograms and clinical breast exams (age 40 and older) - yearly mammogram and clinical breast exam; and
4) Additional screening (if at increased risk and younger than 40) - for women with a family history of the disease or a genetic disposition.

Photo credit: merfam
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.