3-year-old girl in China may be world's youngest breast cancer survivor

3-year-old girl in China may be world's youngest breast cancer survivor

Yan Yan's only three and she's a breast cancer survivor.

Although the disease is commonly associated with adult women, the girl in Shandong, China, may be one of the youngest breast cancer patients ever.

In March, the girl's mother noticed that her singlets were stained by a red, sticky discharge, Chinese media reported.

The stains persisted for a few weeks and the woman was alarmed when she felt a small lump on the left side of her daughter's chest.

She took her to a hospital for a check-up.

Doctors told the woman to hold off the dietary supplements as the toddler was displaying signs of early sexual maturation.

But Yan Yan hadn't been taking them, her mother said.

The worried parent sought a second opinion at Jiangsu People's Hospital where doctors detected a mass in Yan Yan's left breast as well as a swollen lymph node in her armpit.

Photo: Weibo

A biopsy confirmed that the girl was suffering from secretory breast carcinoma, a rare and slow-growing type of cancer.

According to the National Institutes of Health in the US, patients often develop a painless, firm mass in the breast which may move when palpated. Some people with the condition also have nipple discharge.

After considering how surgery would affect the child as she grows, and consulting experts from Harvard Medical School, breast cancer specialist Tang Jin Hai removed the tumour while preserving the mammary glands.

Now, Yan Yan has been given the all-clear, thanks to timely detection and treatment. She was discharged from hospital on Monday (Dec 3) and is set to make a full recovery.

ALSO READ: 8-year-old US girl diagnosed with breast cancer


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