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10-year-old girl fights breast cancer

June 3, 2009 7:14:11 AM PDT
A 10-year-old La Mirada girl is putting on a brave face while fighting a rare cancer.Hannah Powell Auslam was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. More specifically, she has secretory carcinoma. There are only 200 to 300 cases in young girls ever reported in medical literature, and they make up less than .15 percent of all breast cancers.

"I might be just a little afraid 'cause I love my hair. I worked so hard to grow it," she said.

A few weeks ago, the softball-loving little girl with the big smile was like any other fifth grader, but today, she is fighting her breast cancer.

"I always try to look on the bright side with everything," Hannah said.

Hannah had complained that she had a little itch on her side, so her mom took a look.

Hannah's mother immediately felt the lump, but doctors assured her it couldn't possibly be breast cancer, until the biopsy came back.

"It is extremely rare to have breast cancer in a 10-year-old girl, and we don't know exactly why this would happen," said Dr. Marisa Weiss, a breast cancer oncologist.

Weiss said there's concern about pollutants, pesticides and hormones in some of the foods and drinks we consume, and their effect on breast cell growth.

"Between the ages of 8 and 18, everything they eat, what they eat, what they drink, what they breathe in, do lay the foundation for their breast health," Weiss said.

Hannah has already started chemotherapy and surgery is being planned.

"I feel like a kid inside, but sometimes I feel like an adult when I was at the hospital," Hannah said.

Weiss said because so few kids have this type of cancer, chemo treatments must be specially tailored for a child.

Hannah's family decided to throw a joyful gathering to support the young girl as she said goodbye to her hair, for now. Hannah got her hair buzzed off, and her dad, grandpa and little brother all got buzz cuts too.

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