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10-year-olds now getting breast cancer

June 4, 2009

LA MIRADA, Calif. – Ten-year-old Hannah Powell-Auslam is trying to remain brave as she copes with a rare form of breast cancer. “I feel like a kid inside but sometimes I feel like an adult, when I’m always at the hospital,” Hannah told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview that aired Wednesday.

The fifth-grader at Escalona Elementary School in this Los Angeles bedroom community complained of itching in her side in April. Her mother discovered a lump, and that led to a diagnosis of breast cancer.

Her family said she was diagnosed with invasive secretory carcinoma, a type discovered in children in the 1960s.

“Hannah’s prognosis is very good and the type of cancer is very slow growing,” her father, Jeremy, said in an e-mail Wednesday.

Children still represent only a fraction of a percent of all breast cancer cases.

Hannah had surgery and has begun chemotherapy.

“You feel like you’re sick all the time. You just want to go lay in bed,” she said.

The show filmed Hannah at home getting her head shaved rather than waiting for chemotherapy to take its toll. Other family members got buzz cuts, too, in solidarity.

“I might be just a little bit afraid. I love my hair. I worked so hard to grow it,” Hannah said before the event.

From the Associated Press

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