A 10-year old girl with breast cancer, how much media coverage should she receive?

Is the media alarming the public by highlighting this exceedingly rare case?

As reported by ABC News, a 10-year old girl was diagnosed with invasive secretory carcinoma.  She has a good prognosis, but must undergo a mastectomy and chemotherapy.

Some are worrying that the media attention will alarm mothers and young girls, perhaps pushing them to obtain screening tests such as self-breast exams and mammograms.  But the last thing we need to be doing are unnecessary breast biopsies on pre-teen girls.

On the other hand, there are those who want more aggressive education for breast cancer targeted to young girls, which, “lays the foundation for a lifetime of breast health.”

What’s the right thing to do?

While there’s no reason to suppress such a story, taking a measured approach is imperative. It should be stressed that breast cancer in a 10-year old is exceedingly rare, less than one in a million. Which means there should be no reason why the general pre-teen population should be undergoing any type of breast cancer screening.

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