Although breast cancer isn't often associated with girls--incidents of breast cancer occur in less than 7% of women under 40--it's not unheard of, and girls and women shouldn't be complacent. Susan G. Komen (for whom the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation was named) was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33, and died three years later. Establishing a lifetime of healthy habits and routines early on can aid in early detection, and one of these habits is a regular self-exam (you should also regularly examine moles for any changes as a method for detecting skin cancer). Self-exams are by no means foolproof, but they can be used to detect changes early on. These changes may or may not be cancerous, but the earlier they are spotted, the sooner a doctor can determine if cancer is responsible.
This October, make a pledge to support the women in your life and encourage regular self-exams, as well as mammograms (if in an appropriate age group). For more information on breast self-exams, including what to look for and how to do them, please visit BreastCancer.org's Self-Exam page.
Girl Museum Inc.