It is important to know your body. It’s not likely that you’ll get breast cancer at a young age, but it’s important to know your body, so that when and if an abnormality occurs, you’re ready to take the right steps to being your best advocate and making “right for you” decisions.
Also, most women with breast cancer have a high chance of survival is the cancer is detected and treated early. One way to ensure that you catch any abnormal growth early is to perform self-examinations of your breasts regularly. Starting this habit at a young age will help you know what a healthy breast feels like, and this will help you notice abnormalities faster and easier. You can learn how to perform breast self-examinations here. Talk to your parent(s) and go see your doctor right away if you find a lump in your breast or notice any of these symptoms: dimpling, rash or itching, nipple discharge, lumps in/on the breast or underarm area. Also, you should trust your instincts. If you are uncomfortable with what your provider says, have a loved one arrange a second opinion.
As a teenage girl, you may want to know about your chances of getting breast cancer. Or you may want to know more about breast cancer because you know someone who has it – such as a family member or a friend. Or you may want to learn understand how to reduce the chance of getting breast cancer and learn how to check for it. Again, it is rare for a teenager to develop breast cancer, but knowledge is power!
How to Do A Breast Self Exam
To learn more about breast health, how you can educate your peers and empower them to become their best advocates, you can join the Peer Education Through Awareness and Leadership (PETALS) program. This educational program teaches young women about their breast health and about conducting breast self-examinations. It also empowers then through lessons on prevention, wellness and body care.
To build a community of your peers who choose to change the way they think and live, who ask the right questions, speak up about their health, educate physicians and become community activists who help to decrease health disparities, we need you. You can make a difference and use your voice. Become a volunteer with Tigerlily Foundation.