Breast cancer originates from breast tissue. This type is usually common in women over the age of forty years, although there are a few men who suffer from it. It is also known to occur in teenagers, although it is not so common.
One of the worst types is inflammatory breast cancer, which does not usually present any signs or symptoms. It is therefore one of the most difficult to diagnose especially in teenagers who may not be aware of changes in their bodies. However, where signs and symptoms are present, the breasts appear swollen, tender and often itch. Other symptoms are inverted nipples and bruises on the breast and formation of lymph nodes on the armpits.
When a teenager notices a lump, they should be taken to hospital immediately for a proper examination. However, not all lumps are cancerous and only a qualified physician can determine this.
In most cases, lumps are caused by changes in the breast during the menstrual cycle. These lumps are usually fluid filled cysts. Lumps which are benign are usually smooth, and move easily within the breast tissue. Most of these lumps do not need to be removed unless they are causing serious discomfort or causing noticeable changes in the shape of the breast.
A lump that appears to be growing in size and that is immobile even when manipulated with the fingers could be an indicator that it is not benign and a sign of breast cancer. These kind of lumps should be taken for additional tests immediately. Teenagers should be encouraged to perform self-examination, and report any changes to their parents. They should be on the look-out for symptoms such as; changes in shape and size of the breast. One breast could appear to be bigger or smaller. One should also be on the look-out for change in the texture of the breast. This includes hardening and thickening of the breast.
In some cases, breast cancer in teenagers is characterized by pain. The teenager will complain about pain that comes and goes frequently on the breast. In some cases it could be constant and will last for more than one day before it stops. One should also check for change in color in parts of the breast. If these color changes do not disappear in a short-while, then it should be a cause for concern. Teenagers facing this disease need a lot of help from family members and support groups. This is especially important because, they feel that they do not fit in with their age-mates and are unlikely to find survivors among their peers.