Juvenile breast cancer

7:52 PM, Feb 10, 2011   |    comments
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Clearwater, Florida -- It's a story that has tugged at parents' heart strings around the world. A little girl named Aleisha Hunter is thought to be Canada's youngest breast cancer survivor.

Aleisha was just two and a half years old when her mom noticed a lump on her breast. Then, she was diagnosed with juvenile breast cancer or secretory breast cancer at age 3. She's one of the five percent of breast cancer patients under the age of 40.

Six months after a mastectomy, Aleisha is in preschool and getting to be a kid again.

Dr. Peter Blumencranz from Morton Plant's Comprehensive Breast Care Center says adults can have the same form of cancer Aleisha.
"The thing that is special is that there are these rare cases reported in youngsters even under 10 years old and in males as well as females," Dr. Blumencranz said. "On the other hand, the overall incidence is about 0.15% compared to all breast cancers. I think the take home message is yes, if the mom notices their child has a breast lump, tell your pediatrician, but I wouldn't be doing breast checks on my child every day or week or month. This is so rare, there is just not worth doing. It's not fair to make everyone apprehensive about it."

Aleisha's outlook looks good, and she is expected to live a full life as an adult.

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