Compiled by: Constantine Kaniklidis*, medical researcher.


* Director of Medical Research, No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation (NSBCF)

Breast  Watch:  The  Boob  FAQ
A Young Girl's Guide to Breasts and Breast Health
 




Breast Development  

How do breasts develop in a young girl?
The development of breasts in a young girl usually starts about a year before the beginning of the menstrual period as part of puberty, along with the first appearance of pubic hair. The whole development process spans several years, with a lot of individual variation. The main development stages are:
Stage 1: During childhood the breasts are flat.

Stage 2: Breast Bud Stage:
In this stage three main changes happen, all due to the early formation of milk ducts and fatty breast tissue:

  • the breast becomes ever so slightly raised (but still sometimes barely visible),
  • and the nipple becomes slightly puffy
  • the areola begins to enlarge.

Stage 3: There is further growth in this stage, beginning in a conical shape, later in a more and more round shape. It is during this stage that the areola begins to darken.

Stage 4:
The nipple and the areola now form a separate structure or secondary mound within the developing breast area, although not all girls go through this stage. A girl's period usually starts about two years after reaching this stage.

Stage 5:
The breast now completes its growth during puberty into a round shaped structure.

And breasts change in terms of both shape and composition over the years. The breast in a teen girl is usually hemispherical, rounded and equally full in all areas, but as a woman gets older, the topside of the
breast tissue begins to settle to a lower position and the skin stretches and so the shape of the breast changes. Then after menopause, with it's decrease of hormonal activity, the composition itself of the breast changes: the amount of glandular tissue decreases and while fat and ductal tissue become the predominant components. Continued reduction in what's called glandular volume results in further looseness of the breast skin. But remember that at any stage, given widespread variability there is no single concept of a "normal" breast either in terms of size or shape: click here - Normal Breasts Photo Gallery - to see a gallery of normal breasts spanning every size and shape, courtesy of 007 Breasts (warning: candid images but not pornographic)..

For more information, check out the Breast Questions (to go straight there, click on the "Breast Questions" icon) section of the Cool Nurse site (to go to home page of Cool Nurse, click on Cool Nurse icon); this is an excellent site with authoritative health information, founded and run by Amy, an RN (Registered Nurse); also great sections on Gyn Stuff, and Teen Health Topics (for mature teens).

And for more information about girls and body image, also check out the section of links for Girls on the new Girlistic.com, a smart new feminist resource directory, growing rapidly in size and scope (some content may be appropriate only for more mature teens).

Girlistic already includes links to three great resources:

(1) The nonprofit youth organization celebrating girlhood, Girls, Inc., with a discussion forum on Body Image.
(2) Teen Voices Online, the web edition of the national magazine publishing poems, stories, what teens really have to say; also includes some good Body Image resources for teens.
(3) New Moon Magazine, a multi-cultural magazine for girls ages 8-14: as they say "the magazine for every girl who wants her voice heard and her dreams taken serious", with poetry, fiction, letters, art, educational resources, and lots more.

Just three fab resources from Girlistic.com; check back frequently to the site as they continue to add more great links.



How long does it usually take for your breasts to fully develop?
From the early breast bud stage (stage 2) until stage 5 typically takes about 3 - 5 years, but it may take take close to 10 years, and sometimes even more, in some girls - individual variation here is wide. And the beginning point is also variable, with some girls showing breast development as early as when 8 years old, with others starting as late as when 13 years old. (Since breast buds and pubic hair are the first signs of puberty, the general advice is that if these don't start to develop by age 14, a doctor showed be consulted). And although it is often said - without substantial scientific verification - that a young women's breast size is largely determined by age 19, there is so much variability here too that it is known that for some breasts continue to develop into the your 20's or 30's, changing in both size and shape, depending and a complex brew of genetics, hormonal levels and other body chemistries and other factors of maturation not wholly understood.



Breast and Body Image  

Why do teens worry so much about their breasts and body image?

Puberty and breasts: Teenage years, or puberty, is the time of many changes, and of course for girls, one of those changes, developing breasts, is one of the many stormy and dramatic - but wonderful - changes young girls go through in puberty, and because breasts and breast size are visible and easily noticeable under clothes and because of broad cultural emphasis by media along with the enhanced attention by teen boys, many teenage girls begin worrying about their breasts not developing early or fast enough, possibly compared with friends and possibly compared also with the idealized images seen in magazines, on TV, and in movies.

Up front about boobs: And unlike the development of pubic hair at puberty, breasts are "out there" for all to notice and sometimes remark on, not always with sensitivity to the feelings of the owner (there is a famous book by Meema Spadola entitled "Breasts: Our Most Public Private Parts). Sure, teen boys sometimes worry about the size and growth of their penises, but unlike breasts a penis is usually not as visible under at least everyday clothing, so teen boys tend not to have quite the same level of pressure and anxiety. Furthermore and perhaps unfortunately for girls, society often defines females as the "objects of desire" and so focuses more attention on female looks and anatomy. If you're thinking: not fair!, most health professionals would agree. Studies on body image have consistently found that boys are significantly less critical of their appearance than young girls/teens, and in one study, normal-weight girls expressed considerably more anxiety about their looks not only compared to normal-weight boys, but even compared to boys who were obese. So there is no doubt that society and other factors take far more of a toll with respect to body image on young girls than on young boys, and scientific studies confirm this. So, definitely, not fair!

A higher standard for females and breasts: In most societies, females young and older are judged on appearance far more than men, and standards of female beauty, attractiveness and sexuality are not only considerably higher but also far more inflexible. Females constantly are reminded by society of images of the "ideal" figure, and it is well-known that constant exposure to such idealized images of female beauty tend to make it appear that exceptional good are normal, so to fall short of such largely unattainable perfection may be considered abnormal. And since breasts are by and large the most visible "feminine" aspect of the female body, disproportionate attention to an idealized female figure often translates to disproportionate emphasis on breasts and their value in female beauty and sexuality.

Breast worry: Concern over body image can easily therefore become a source of anxiety and stress, with some girls feeling
embarrassed and uncomfortable during breast development, sometimes avoiding undressing in front of other girls or even their moms. Such concerns are however natural and in America a virtually unavoidable part of growing up female: there's probably not many American females living who have'nt worried about their appearance and attractiveness in general, and their breasts in particular. Again, studies confirm this: by age thirteen, 53 percent of American girls are unhappy with their bodies, but in worse, by age seventeen, 78 percent are dissatisfied - that's about 4 out of every five girls! And this continues in adulthood, where it was found that by far the majority of adult American women are not happy with their breasts in one way or another. Remember the trends:
  •  a quarter of a million women go for breast implants - and of these, more than 3,000 are age 18 and younger!
  •  breast enlargement operations are becoming much more common, and
  • sales of push-up bras and other enhancement aids are booming,
    along with Internet-based herbal formulas and creams claiming to "add inches to your bust".
    (We address what works and what doesn't later, below).

Good Reads for Mature Teens:
On this issue, check out How can you tell if a person is booby-trapped? and
you can take a quiz to see if You Are Booby-Trapped? (from Dr. Nili Sachs who wrote the book Booby-Trapped: How to Feel Normal in a breast-Obsessed World about America's obsession with females' breasts.

And there's Deal with It!: A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life as a gURL, which grew out of the famous Deal with It! interactive question/answer online service from the folks at gURL, one of the best online communities for teenage girls, with stories, games, interactive content, and great discussions of the issues that affect the lives of girls age 13 and up (For mature teens: frank talk on sexuality, emotions, and body image). The book, like the online community, gives girls the goods on sexuality, their bodies and growing up as a young female in general. And if you're at least thirteen, of course check out the hip and fun yet very informative
gURL itself, created by by Esther Drill, Heather McDonald and Rebecca Odes: it's got evereything - Help Me Heather where you can ask anything and get expert advice back, Shout Out Boards which are discussion boards where you can you can shout out to other gURLs or leave a message for the gURL staff, gURL Rooms where you can create your very own personal room to both get and give advice, make new friends,or publsih anything, cool gURL Games and gURL Quizzes, and a free gURL Newletter!



Breasts in Society  

Society, culture and breasts: But to scientists this is not surprising: magazine ads, media and television parade images where most women are shown as slim and typically with well-developed if not downright oversized breasts, and these model-image women are represented - and misrepresented would be more accurate - as uniquely attractive to male attention largely because of their typically large breasts, and new media forms like MTV video often go further, often only representing hypersexualized and overdeveloped girls and women. So with females bombarded by these images daily in so many different forms and outlets, it is not surprising that most girls and women - and large segments of the not wholly mature male population - begin to internalize (largely subconsciously) such images as the ideal form of the female body to be striven for. The subversive and confidence-undermining implicit message is "boobs make the woman", ridiculously reducing the amazing complexity of a female to one anatomical part.

Breasts elsewhere and at other times: And few teens reflect on how artificial such a narrow and immature concept of female body image and female attractiveness and sexuality is and how it has been promoted, distorted, and enhanced by media-oriented society. In such media breasts - the larger the better is the claim - are always shown as something every guy desperately yearns to see and fondle, even though in cultures and societies outside of the U.S., breasts are not the holy grail of female attractiveness: so in much of Europe topless women at beaches are normal and don't inspire half-crazed male attention, very public and open breastfeeding does not raise an eyebrow (this at least is beginning to be the case here also), and French television has for years customarily shown bare-breasted women in commercials on standard programs. In addition, societal attitudes about breast size are often influenced by fashion, so that in the Flapper days of the 1920s, small breasts were definitely in, and this was also true in the l960s when fashion focused on an ultra-thin sometimes emaciated body image with even a relatively flat-chested look being promoted. In fact, flat chest were so "in" during the 1920's that fuller busted girls resorted to bandaging their breasts flat! (check out: The Flat Chest of the Twenties). Then attitudes, fashions and style shifted again in complex and for not wholly understood reasons - and synchronized with the the arrival of the first Wonder Bra and similar enhancement aids - larger breasts became fashionable again, although even today there is a lot of variability among and within economic, racial and ethnic (and sometimes geographical) subcultures, regions and groups. (For a funny romp through the history of boobs and boob fashion, see The Strapless, Heaving, Revealing History of Boobs)
.

And beginning in the sixties and continuing to today, women have sometimes taken their breasts into the political protest arena, with the "Boobs Not Bombs" antiwar campaigns, and also in the anti-fur and anti-animal cruelty campaigns with the topless protestors of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). And in a famous law case of 2004 - 2005, a Florida woman, Elizabeth Book, was judged by a Florida court to be within her legal rights when she went topless during a political protest as part of Bike Week: both a city and state ordinance allows an exemption to its anti-nudity law as long as the nudity is restricted to the upper part of a women's body and is part of a political protest or other constitutionally protected issue, establishing the now widely-recognized legality of topless political protest in public.



Breasts - The Male Point of View  


The Good news: What do guys really think about a girl's breasts and the size of her breasts
?

Well, it turns out that real men's (not those depicted in TV and movies) attitudes towards breasts are more complicated than previously thought.
Phil Hilton, former editor of Men's Health magazine, said in an interview with newspaper The Independent that "Men are far less discerning than women take them for. Men think all breasts are good and are delighted to have access to any at all. The idea that they are connoisseurs is inaccurate" (as quoted on
HelpMyFlatChest.com). So: men would be more than happy with whatever they got, and for men, proportion and shape in the female form is often the determining factor - bodies in proportion are often considered far more attractive, so if you're a small frame, you would look out-of-proportion with massive breasts. It seems from surveys that men love the curvaceous shape of breasts more than their size and volume, and look for a female body image with appealing proportions. And it is known from other research and surveys that teen boys actually find natural breasts fascinating and sexy in any and all shapes or sizes. Indeed, recent Internet surveys of males seeking adult content shows an amazingly high interest in sites that specifically depict small-breasted females - as sexually attractive and erotic to males. But in the last analysis, remember (see also below) that breasts are only one aspect of female beauty and don't trump other factors.

[A techie note: Studies by Singh and Young (Ethology and Sociobiology, 1995), Furnham and co-researchers (Personality and Individual Differences, 1998), and many others after that found that, rather than being an independent criterion of sexual attractiveness, the desirability of any particular breast size was a function of both total body weight and the waist-hip ratio. And in the study by Horvath (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1981), although females associated both small and medium-sized breasts with attractiveness, males did not associate a particular breast size with attractiveness! There's hope yet!]

Boys are from Mars, Girls are from Venus: Now, you could ask: why is there such a divergence between on the one hand what boys (and many males) really think about breasts, and on the other both:
(1) what girls think about breasts and
(2) what girls think boys think about breasts?
One problem is of course that girls rarely consult boys - or any male for that matter - on the subject of breasts, getting most of their feedback in the dark as it were, from other girls. And another related problem is that girls deduce most of what boys think about breasts from male teen public behavior in peer groups - from teen boys in groups at school and elsewhere and how they behave in public around girls; but male teen public behavior is highly subject to peer pressure and what they perceive as societal and cultural expectations of public male behavior towards girls and their breasts, often taking their cues from popular media and culture, and this is not the same as what an individual teen boy feels in private, especially when confronted with a real girl he likes independent of her breast size and shape.


Putting breasts in perspective:
So sure breasts are a very feminine body part (along with things like long hair, curved hips, and maybe also shapely legs, etc.) but a female's attractiveness, sexuality and appeal can't be reduced to a sum of body parts, and other subtle factors of character and personality, self-confidence, grace and elegance in movement and comportment, sense of humor, sensitivity, clothes, fashion and color style, among many others are at least as important as the size and shape of her breasts in determining what makes a girl or woman attractive and desirable to men (and - at least as important - to herself!).
Your own attitude about accepting your own unique body and breasts - whatever size and shape - plays a vital role in projecting your own confidence and comfort with your appearance.
It's important not only to not let society and culture measure your worth by the size of your breasts, but also to not let yourself equate your own self-worth and value with just your anatomy - have those who matter like, love, want and respect you for who you are, your unique persona and character, not your bra size.


And to promote a positive and assertive attitude to breasts
one company,
I Like My Boobs, sells various t-shirts, tote bags, buttons, mugs, even a cool I Like My Boobs mousepad! (shown here on left and above - click on mousepad to go to their site).



Breast Size, and What You Can Do  

My breasts are small - is there any way I can make them bigger or grow faster without surgery?
Breasts come in all sizes and shapes and as we said above, anxiety about breast size is a natural and very common concern among young girls and especially teens, and unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions and myths surrounding this issue, especially in popular media and on the Internet, and sometimes even among health professionals. For example:

Myth 1: Your breasts are fully developed by age 19 or so and won't grow any further.
Truth: As we note above, this is incorrect:
some breasts continue to develop into the your 20's or 30's, changing in both size and shape.
Myth 2: There's nothing non-surgical (that is, short of implants or breast augmentation surgery) a girl can do about having small breasts.
Truth: There are several safe and effective things a girl can do short of surgery to achieve a modest boost in the size of her breasts - and we discuss all of these in this section.

So here's what every young girl needs to know:

Breast size and what determines it:
If you read the sections above, you already understand that breast development is highly variable and everyone's breasts grow at different rates, both in terms of stages (and when they occur), and in terms of size and shape at any point in time. Many factors influence all this and your ultimate breast size, including:

(1) your estrogen levels,
(2) physical health and body mass, and
(3) genetics/heredity - your own personal DNA programming,
(4) certain drugs (mainly the antidepressant paroxetine Paxil, mirtazapine (Remeron) and certain other agents in the same category)
(5) other less well-understood factors and influences,
and later in life, pregnancy, menopause, and body weight continue to influence fluctuating breast size.

It is commonly thought that heredity plays the largest but by no means not exclusive role.


So what works (+), what doesn't (-):

(1) Estrogens and Phytoestrogens (-):
Of the three major hormones affecting the breast, estrogen, progesterone and prolactin, estrogen appears to have the greatest influence, but manipulating hormones to influence breast size is simply neither safe nor practical given well-established concerns about stimulating excessive cell growth and hence potentially increasing the risk of breast cancer (see our Breast Cancer Watch for more information on estrogen and breast cancer risk). Note this is true both of estrogen and its various derivatives itself, as well as of phytoestrogens - plant and plant-like substances with potential hormonal activity (like soy, isoflavones and others).

(2) Progesterones (-):
Many herbal breast enhancement products are pitched on the basis of their claimed effect on the hormone progesterone. And it is true that when taken as a pill, progesterone does increase breast size, and fairly safely (see the scientific review of Breast Enhancement undertaken by the well-respected
ConsumerLab). There are two problems with this approach, however: first, progesterone works its magic on breasts by stimulating the growth and development of milk-producing breast cells, and second, although it may be possible to adjust preparation and/or dose to avoid inappropriate effects in non-nursing females, there is to date no scientific evidence that any product has accomplished this. Furthermore, it was found that despite vendor clams, Mexican yam, a natural product claiming to either contain or stimulate progesterone, does not in fact raise progesterone levels at all, and to date there is a similar lack of scientific evidence for yam creams, and other so-called natural progesterones, although there is some evidence for the use of the herb chaste berry, a powerful progesterone stimulant, currently being used to address certain breast disorders in adult women, but it is still too early to determine whether the stimulation of progesterone actually leads to clinical significant breast tissue growth without inducing undesirable lactation.

(3) Certain Antidepressants (-):
Although we noted that certain drugs (especially certain antidepressants) may as a side effect of their primary usage cause a modest increase in bust size, probably secondary to their causing general body weight gain, it is not considered rational or prudent to exploit such powerful and systemic agents in this way - to leverage an unintended side effect, and many of these same drugs are controversial in use and safety in adolescence, so they cannot be recommended.


(4) The BRAVA System (+) - The "Vacuum Bra":
Despite many claims to the contrary even in the medical literature, there is one FDA-approved (
as what's called a nonregulated medical device) non-surgical therapy for breast enhancement: the BRAVA System (from Brava LLC). This is a vest-like enclosure of two plastic domes connected to a suction device (it is sometimes humorously referred to as the first and only vacuum bra), and to gain any benefit it must be worn at least 10 hours a day for approximately 10 weeks; most patients can adapt to sleeping in it, but this requires sleeping on one's back (to see pics of the device and learn a lot more about it, click here: BRAVA and to see before and after pics of what to expect, click here: BRAVA Before and After Images).

What can it do for that fairly demanding requirement and major commitment? - possibly increase breasts by one cup, as demonstrated in a well-controlled scientific study of the system, by mechanical force stimulation of a female's own breast issue, technically called "tension induced tissue growth". In the underground of real clinical practice, my associates confirm that many women use BRAVA for an unofficial use of addressing ptosis (the medical term for sagging or drooping breasts), as it is apparently effective in this "off-label" use independent of increasing cup size, providing some "lift" and enhanced firmness and fullness (see the doctor comments at: BRAVA Success Stories: What Leading Doctors Say and ABCNews's Can Vacuum Bra Double Breast Size Without Surgery?). The manufacturer is clear on the fact that the product is designed and targeted for small-breasted women who may succeed in taking size AA breasts to a full A bordering on small B, or A or B, so typically about one cup size gain (it is certainly not intended for anyone who is already has a full C-cup or more). Although initially there may be an apparently larger gain, that is mainly from some temporary swelling but once that swelling declines, about half the initial gain sets in and is kept for at least two years, and MRI scans confirm that the gain is from true breast tissue growth yielding about one cup increase.

There appear to be few real side effects - some temporary skin irritation (
contact dermatitis) is possible but fairly directly addressable with mild corticosteroid cream or similar agent, and not everyone can feel comfortable enough for 10+ hours using the device, but to date compliance appears to be not a deal-breaker for most motivated females with reasonable expectations of what it can do, and who are under proper medical supervision of a trained and skilled - and patient and caring - health professional. It may be possible in some cases to arrange for a short-term trial to allow someone to decide if they can really commit and accommodate to the device's requirements of use. Sensibly, the provider recommends it for females of 18 years or older/ See their Is It Right For Me? page. Currently the average cost of a BRAVA System is between $2000 - $2500 and is available through select plastic surgeons, gynecologists and cosmetic dermatologists who have been company-trained in how to properly use and supervise the system.


(5) Increasing Body Mass (+):
To simplify greatly, breasts are made of fat, glands, milk ducts,
connective tissue, blood vessels, and some sensory nerves, but the major composition is good old fatty tissue, and this accounts for the fact that weight gain - if personally and aesthetically acceptable - is a well-known and scientifically verified dependable and relatively safe (if not overdone) means of increasing breast size (and so as women loss weight their breast on an average tend so become smaller too, although individuals vary in how much proportionately they lose from various body areas).

But what does it take to gain a significant degree of growth in the breast? Well, here it is: to increase bust size by one cup, about 200 cc's (centimeters, a unit of volume) of extra breast tissue would be needed. And this means a proportionate gain in the rest of the body, known to entail between no less than 15 pounds weight gain to more typically about 20 pounds weight increase - for going from one cup size to the next, a one cup size gain.

Now although this is not trivial, some young girls seeking to enhance the size of their breasts modestly and reasonably from an AA-cup to a full A-cup, or from A to B-cup can exercise this option, aseptically if they are not already overweight, and given that many girls most concerned about their bust size may be thin or even underweight to some degree, this turns out to be a relatively easily implemented, safe and cost-effective (essentially free) technique for enhancing their breasts (usually in an aesthetically satisfactory manner assuming no original obesity). And the math is easy: to gain about a cup-and-a-half in bust size, approx. 30 lbs. weight gain would be required, and so on, and if care is taken to gain the weight in an nutritionally sensible fashion (ie., a well-balance sound diet of higher caloric intake rather than one whose extra calories derive from an excessively fatty regimen), this can be an enabling option for some girls who can scale their expectations to accept a modest gain of a cup or slightly more in breast size. And to put it into perspective, the only FDA-approved device for gaining one cup size growth is the BRAVA system costing a couple of thousand dollars and a serious commitment of wearing the device daily over an extended period of 2 - 3 months (excluding surgery of course).


[Techie note: The exact techie medical definition of a breast is: a mass of glandular fatty, and fibrous tissues (with the capacity for producing milk when stimulated by special hormones), and sensory nerves extending upward from the muscle layer through the breast, highly sensitive, especially in the regions of the nipple and areola, accounting for the sexual responsiveness of most women's breasts and why breasts are considered an erogenous zone of pleasure, positioned over the pectoral muscles of the chest wall and attached to the chest wall by fibrous strands called Cooper’s ligaments, with a layer of fatty tissue surrounding the breast glands and extending throughout the breast. It's this fatty tissue that gives the breast the soft consistency and subtle flowing contour that seems to mesmerize so many males. So that's a boob! For you techies, you can learn more from Imaginis's coverage: Breast Anatomy and Physiology).


(6) Bust Exercises - Good Breast Workouts:
Although
exercise by itself without increase in body mass cannot physically increase breast size, some evidence exists that various bust exercises, by building firm muscle tissue and perhaps promoting more optimal posture, may provide a perception of a firmer more "perky" appearance to the breasts. So, the appearance of firmer breasts can work some visual benefit, and is healthy too.

To learn more about good bust exercises, check out:

1. Breast Enlargement Exercises
(no illustrations of the exercise here, but the explanations are very good, and it's got the most exercises)

2. How to get Perkier Breasts in 12 Hours
(well-illustrated)

3. Bust Exercises from Denise Austin
(and although the illustrations show using an exercise ball and pad, you can still do them just against a wall and floor).

 


(7) Breast Enhancement Aids (?):
These don't actually increase the size of breasts, just help to enhance the appearance of the bust by physical means, and most girls and young women are in this day and age reasonably savvy about their options: breast booster pads, including gel-filled breast enhancers tucked into the bra, various types of enhanced and strategically padded bras, specially engineered push-up bras that give the perception of extra volume, firmness and/or cleavage, including superboost bras, air bras, and special cleavage-enhancing bras, among many many other marvels of modern breast and bust-engineering in clothes fashion and style. See for instance Cleavage Enhancing Tips from the Experts; sites like
Bravo (makers of Bravopads) offer both small bust and instant cleavage kits, while sites like Wonderful Breast, Flattering Me, and of course the original Wonderbra offer various often quite ingenious bust and bra enhancements, and sites like MaxCleavage are dedicated solely to products providing alternatives to breast enhancement surgery and implants.


And the The Better Boob Job site offers Takeouts, the famous jellylike natural-feeling and natural-looking silicone bra inserts.
Takeouts are called "cleavage to go" or "cleavage cupcakes", and even packaged in a pink Chinese food container, just like real "takeout" food! Made of soft, pliable medical-grade silicone, Takeouts are designed to conform to the shape of your bust, and because they appear to add a full cup size to the bust, they're advertised as an "instant boobjob". (Takeouts are reported to have been used by the female cast of "The Stepford Wives" movie remake).

Also consult HelpMyFlatChest.com: Support and Advice for the Small Busted, a site offering dedicated advice "for the small-busted" female, along with fun subtopics like silly names for breasts, tasteful jokes, clothing tips, and more. Also fun and informative is My Flatsy Forum for flat-chested women only (from AAA-Cup Alexandra), Adventures in Flatland from SmileAndActNice, IndiaParenting's Bust Size FAQ and their Bust Size Discussion Board, OBGYN.Net's Breast Care FAQ - Breast Size, Shape and Appearance, TeenHealthFX's Dear Asian Breast Concern, and GoAskAlice's Dear Itty Bitty Titties (Must I Have A Bust?).


  Another great source is Undercover Glamour in the UK, dedicated to helping you achieve the look you want while making the best of your body, without resorting to surgery / implants.  Their product line includes strapless bras (the Freebra (silicone) or the Bobra (cloth)), nipple covers (to avoid "nipple poke through"), and breast enhancers (aka, "chicken fillets") to provide an extra boost to your bust.

The breast enhancers, placed inside the bra, are made of soft comfortable silicone which warms to body temperature, and there are different enhancers within their "Voila!" line, letting you select from just adding a subtle increase (the Mini Voila!), to giving you up to a one cup size increase (the Voila!), all the way to boosting  your bust up to two whole cup sizes using their Maxi Voila! for maximum cleavage and dimension.

But don't forget to check out their hip, comprehensive FAQ on breast enhancers, both educational and entertaining, and their Fashion Tips section (like "Why breast enhancers and not implants?", "The best bras for breast enhancers", and many more), and their Celebrity News on the latest celebrity doings (from Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Naomi Watts, Kate Hudson, among others). 

But Undercover Glamour is not only a fun, sassy site, but is also socially conscious: they include an excellent section on Breast Cancer Awareness, provided in association with CancerHelp UK, a plain-English lowdown on this important and often misunderstood topic.  A just reported survey of 3000 girls between the ages of 8 and 18 - see the "Even 'Tweens Fear Breast Cancer" article - found that almost a third of teens and 'tweens are already worried about whether breast cancer will strike them personally, a real problem when so many girls are just too young to know or feel comfortable with talking about what's on their mind when it comes to such a scary and not well understood issue, so definitely commit to and learn more about breast cancer awareness, and you can start by checking out Undercover Glamour, and our full discussion of this topic below.   



Breasts and Bras: Learn More
 
 For More Mature Teens:

The bOOb Lady Blog - from Elisabeth Squires, The bOOb LadyTo learn more about breasts, check out the new hip website bOObs: A Guide to Your Girls ("your girls" = your boobs), humorous but very informative, brought to you by Elisabeth Dale ("The Boob Lady"), a freelance writer and daughter of a breast cancer survivor, who admits to being breast obsessed since her early teens, now on a mission to help women appreciate their breasts. The author has written and published a book by the same name (bOObs: A Guide to Your Girls), a style guide for breasts, on how to put your "best breast forward" - a smart and sexy book (and site) from the smart and sexy bOOb Lady). The book - a survival guide for living with your boobs - is the most comprehensive and authoritative guide available on boob care and maintenance, and should be on everyone's bookshelf (men too can benefit!).

And the book bOObs: A Guide to Your Girls  was recently awarded one of the Best Consumer Health Books of 2007 by the Library Journal, whose review said "This is the book about breast health that your best girlfriend wrote", in "a format and style that will appeal to young readers", and that the book "is the sassy push-up that will get the attention of a younger audience who really needs this information".

Boob IQWith truly useful and practical advice - everything you always wanted to know about boobs, a kind of sassy owner's manual - the site includes a great Mammoirs section which is a collection of candid personal tales of how girls and women feel about their breasts, along with an online Questionnaire if you care to add your own experiences, with sections for "natural flotation devices" (swimwear blues), and "mammaries in motion" (boobs and sports). There's also a really excellent Boob Resources ("boobliography") section with the best videos, books, and websites on breasts, breast health, including breast cancer, breast development, breast feeding and cosmetic breast surgery; really, this is now the most comprehensive set of resources about breasts on the web!  Also see how you score on What's Your bOOb IQ? Not sure about the lingo? Areola vesrus nipple? Or cleavage versus neathage?  Well, the the bOOb Lady's fabulous bOObiepedia will give you plain-English definitions of the most common breast-related terminology.

bOOb Talk, a place to bare any and all concerns about your breasts -  ask The bOOb Lady! Elisabeth SquiresThe author also runs bOOb TALK, an online discussion forum, described as "a place to bare any and all concerns about your breasts" (click on pic on the left), with campy but intelligent sections on "Defying Gravity" (all about bras), "Saggy and Sexy" (for mature breasts), and "Funny Girls" (on humorous and unexpected things women/girls have done with their breasts), among others. Got questions about boobs? - you can ask anything, anytime at: Ask the bOOb Lady. And there is even a cool blog called The bOOb Lady (click on the sly pic of Elisabeth the bOOb Lady herself, on the right, in the act of checking out her very own).

The Breast LifeNew!  See her new website The Breast Life ("Changing the world one boob at a time)" which provides the best products, services, and clothing  related to your breast health and well-being, including bras, breast extras like nipple covers, cleavage control (with bust boosters like Bring It Up and Cleavage Cupcakes, etc.), bra care products, clothing and  specialty lingerie, books and DVDs, and much more, along with her unique Mammoirs, stories and perspectives on living with your breasts, from girls and women of all ages, and her hip blog.



The Best Guides to Breasts!


So hands down, t
his -  bOObs: A Guide to Your Girls  - is the must own book for any woman interested in understanding her breasts and wanting to put her best boobs forward!

Coming soon!
BooBs: a Guide to Growing GirlsAnd even better for the younger set! The same author, Elisabeth Squires, aka the bOOb Lady, is publishing a great guide just for girls, called BooBs: a Guide to Growing Girls (click the read more) where she answers the questions most young girls have: "When am I going to get boobs?" "Will it hurt?" "Are mine normal?"  - really all the questions you always wanted answers to.  Filled with true stories from girls like you, it provides expert advice on what to expect when you are expecting breasts, and covers everything from bra wear and care, common fears and concerns, to best breast health, and how to deal with unwanted breast attention.  The books positive and liberating message is that "Whatever their eventual size or shape, all girls will discover the power of life and love they hold in their budding bosoms". Check her site Books on Boobs for availability.    


Do I need to wear a bra? Is there any health reason against going braless?
Myth: Girls should wear bras because otherwise their breasts will start to sag sooner.
In fact, wearing a bra is primarily a matter of personal choice, based on social, aesthetic (your appearance) and comfort factors, and not a health necessity, despite what bra manufacturers would like girls and women to believe. Wearing bras regularly isn't a safeguard for retaining the youthful look of your breasts and avoiding drooping, since all breasts begin to sag to some extent over time as a female gets older, and going braless will not influence when or how much sagging any one female will ultimately experience.

And now we know the opposite may be true: many medical professionals now believe that wearing a bra may actually increase later breast sagging. Why? Well, your breasts are attached to the pectoral muscle on your chest by ligaments, and when wearing a bra, the chest muscles that support breasts are used less because your supported breasts, confined in a bra, do not allow the pectoral muscle to be exercised as much as it otherwise could be, and so it tends to atrophy (weaken and shrink in size) from lack of use, as do also the attaching ligaments. But when you go braless, the natural movements of your arms and upper torso exercise and strengthen your pectoral muscle. And that's good, because the strengthened pectoral muscle can then provide better support for your breasts. So when the chest muscles and breast ligaments are forced to have to bear the weight of the breasts when going braless, muscle tone returns, under the principle of "use it or lose it". And it follows therefore that when you do wear a bra, it's best to choose one that is the least constricting to allow at least some work and exercise to have to be done.

You can get more info from the GoingBraless.net site, a site designed by Libby to encourage the positive and healthy aspects of body-image on going braless; especially check out her discussion forum and their Breast and Bra Research page, and from the BreastNotes.com site's discussion of The Purpose of the Bra, where prominent experts like Dr. Susan M. Love (who wrote Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book), Niels H. Lauersen (author of the Complete Book of Breast Care) and many others weigh in on the side of the principle that going braless at least occasionally, in situations (home or elsewhere) where you feel comfortable and it is appropriate, is a healthful, not harmful habit. And Gurl.com has a neat side-by-side take on Going Braless - Digs and Disses from real users duking it out on the subject.


So, when should you wear a bra?
Naturally, this is a mainly personal and sometimes emotional issue, and the bottom line is if you're not comfortable going braless in public, although increasingly acceptable socially, then follow your instincts and wear that bra. Because sure, some females may just feel uncomfortable if they're bra-free in certain social contexts, or do not feel comfortable with the possibly unwanted attention to their bouncing breasts and noticeable nipples, especially if more generously endowed, and during certain activities letting breasts hang loose and freely can be downright uncomfortable. And remember that bras can protect the breasts from some trauma during exercise workouts and other vigorous activity by limit jiggling and thus reducing the possibility of breast soreness and discomfort, especially when wearing a properly fitted sports bra. Another case for occasionally wearing a bra is to limit friction between sensitive nipples and certain kinds of clothing in order therefore to prevent possible irritation or soreness. And finally, some females prefer the appearance of their breasts when they're lift or supported by a bra.

But again, the bottom line: there is no medical necessity for wearing a bra, and there is some health benefit to going braless
at least some of the time, as long as you're okay by it!


Bras Can Be Fun

YarmulkeBraA bra made from an actual
yarmulke? Could this sell?  One company, Yarmulkebra.com, thinks so.
As the company says:

     "No longer are yarmulkes limited to men or heads.  You wanted to wear one? Now you can wear two"

They have a collection of bras made from bat mitzvah, or bar mitzvah, yarmulkes, and they're available in three sizes:
    
Small/Medium (called the Bat-mitzvah Model
    
Medium/Large (the Sports Model)
     Large (called the Boobooshka Model).

They can even custom design a YarmulkeBra from the yarmulke of your choice! 
And you don't have to be Jewish to wear a yarmulkebra



iPodBra

CandyBraThe iBra?
And how about a high-tech bra? Amazingly, there is the iPodBra
Batteries not included.


A Nutritional Bra?

Not interested? Then how about a Candy Bra, made of candy necklace charms? 
No comment.
 

 

 


But what about bras and breast cancer? Does wearing a bra increase your risk of getting breast cancer?
No, there is absolutely no respected scientific evidence linking bra wearing with an increased risk of breast cancer! The rumors seem to have been promoted recently through a book called Dressed to Kill by Singer and Grismaijer, which suggested that bras, especially under-wired bras, cause breast cancer by causing obstruction the lymphatic system, interfering with the normal drainage of the breast tissues, leading to toxin buildup in the breast and resulting in cancer. But this has not been substantiated and has been rejected by further research and virtually all breast cancer experts, including this site's author. (You'd have to wear a bra that was painfully constricting and unbearably tight to have any consequence whatsoever on your lymphatic system, and even then no evidence exists that this really would lead to a greater risk of breast cancer). So bottom line: bras are safe to wear, the decision is yours!

And in terms of selecting the right bra, check out My First Bra (left), a site for girls 8 - 16 years old, with bra basics, an online bra size calculator, tips on measuring bra and cup size, plus a detailed buying guide to training, sports, soft-cup, padded and push-up bras.




Breast Health: Caring for Your Breasts  

  For More Mature Teens:
A more adult perspective (with candid but tasteful and intelligent content that may be best appreciated by more mature females) can be gotten from The Breast Views: Daily News & Alternative Views of the Wonderful World of Breasts, a blog compiled by Canadian Sue Richards who is dedicated, as she says, "to stimulating a breast health movement". She founded and runs Breasts of Canada, a fine art photography calendar designed "to inspire you to greater awareness about breast health and breast cancer prevention" by "cultivating a positive body image"; and note that the calendar is a 'good works" project, with net proceeds for the current edition directed to the Canadian Breast Cancer Network.

Another site that promotes breast cancer research in a unique way is the Blogger Bobbie-Thon - Bloggers bare all for breast cancer research! Their motto is "Boobies. Although they come in all shapes and sizes (large, small, saggy and perky), they have one thing in common: The ability to develop cancer". Founded in 2002 by Florida blogger Robyn Pollman, Bobbie-Thon sponsors an annual event in which bloggers from across the globe are invited to submit pictures of either bare and covered breasts to raise money for breast cancer causes (they have raised over $17,000 for breast cancer and blogger-charity causes, with substantial donations going to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation). The money is raised by having covered boobies featured on the site for free, but charging $50 for viewing the bare breasts on a "pay-per-boobie" page. (all photos contributed are anonymous, with no faces shown).


Can teens get breast cancer? Should I be examining my breasts for lumps?
Breast cancer can actually occur in teens, but it's an extremely rare occurrence. Young girls going through puberty sometimes get alarmed when they feel a small
button-sized lump under their nipple, but this is almost always the "breast bud", which develops in stage 2 of breast development (see above: How do breasts develop in a young girl?) and being a natural part of the changes that come with early puberty, it's of no concern.

To learn more about breast cancer in young females, check out Yound Women and Breast Cancer from YSC (Young Survival Coalition), an international network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to the unique concerns and issues of young women and breast cancer. As they note, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in young women ages 15 - 42, and there are more than 250,000 women in the U.S. age 40 and under currently living with breast cancer.

Another site, this one for Canadians but really valuable for anyone anywhere, is Rethink Breast Cancer, an exceptional charity that helps young people concerned about and affected by breast cancer, using innovative breast cancer education, research and support programs.  The organization teams up with the art, entertainment, fashion and sports worlds to host hip fundraising events to benefit breast cancer awareness and research, including Breast Fest,
the world's first film festival dedicated to breast cancer awareness.  

Check out their quick one-page Touch. Look. Check - How to Be Breast Aware, a summary of changes toTouch Look Feel look out for in your breasts, and their Symptoms, outline the most important symptoms that if they occur, should be reported immediately to your doctor (as a precaution - these don't mean you do have anything serious, but best to be safe and have a health professional make the decision).

And you can click on the logo we want you to keep these to learn the top ten things you can do the prevent breast cancer. And the TLC (Touch Look Check) page has a quick checklist of what changes in your breasts to look for.


For More Mature Teens:
What To Do: Feel / Check Your Boobie
s
So even though the chances of breast cancer are small, still it's a good idea that teen girls to
(1) learn more about breast cancer and
(2) learn how to perform a breast self-examination (BSE)
because any female however young can get breast cancer. By starting to do a breast self-exam early, you learn how your body and breasts normally feel so that you can recognize changes that should be checked out to see if a problem has developed; sometimes non-cancerous breast cysts or benign lumps called fibroadenomas may be discovered this way, in part because breast lumps are fairly common during the radical changes of puberty, probably due to estrogen sensitivity during this developmental phase. Doctors recommend that young girls check their breasts once a month, at the same time each month, on or close to the last day of your menstrual period. Although doctors until recently often advised young women to do breast self-exams (BSE) starting at 20, some healthcare professionals and organizations - including this Breast Watch site - recommend that young women begin breast self-examination in their teens, after they have gone through puberty and have begun regular menstrual cycles.

One good website encouraging young girls and women to do breast self-exams for early detection of breast cancer is Feel Your Boobies, set up by Leigh Hurst, a young breast cancer survivor, "to spread the word about the importance of feeling your boobies"; as she says "Somehow telling young women the importance of "self-breast exams" doesn't quite have the same punch as saying "feel your boobies." So you might laugh at the slogan, but hopefully you'll take it seriously and do it... ". Their slogan is:
"Early detection saves lives -- why not feel your boobies?"
So check it out: Feel Your Boobies - hip, fun, and a great breast cancer awareness program for young females!

And for another really valuable site, go to Check Your Boobies, founded in 2005 by Heike Malakoff, a young Seattle mother herself diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, and now on a mission to have every female know get to know her breasts, through educating about breast health in a frank, fun, but fear-free manner, and in this way assist in the prevention and early detection of Breast Cancer. She promotes Check Your Boobies Parties, non-threatening gatherings during which women get to know their own breasts and learn how to perform a breast self-exam (giving you: "the ins and outs, ups and downs, arounds and abouts of self-exams"). And in addition to providing clear instructions on how to best check your bobbies, it also features a valuable monthly email "boobie check" reminder (free registration) to help keep you on track!

For more info, Y-ME, a national breast cancer organization, publishes Just for Teens: A Teen Guide to Breast Care (Adobe Acrobat PDF file, so right-click ontitle, and save to download), and also check out At what age should a teenage girl start having breast exams?. And Imaginis in association with Lange Productions has produced a Breast Self Exam Video providing step-by-step instruction on how to do a breast self examination using live models of different ethnicities and different breast sizes; this just can't can't be beat as a way to learn how to do the self-exam right!


Warning: For More Mature Teens:
What NOT To Do With Your Breasts

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THESE PICTURES?

EL James, Author of "Fifty Shades of Gray", wearing celll phone in her cleavage  Actrees/Model Larissa Riquelme using a "Cleavage Caddy" Bra

It appears that both celebrities are wearing a cell phone in their bra: on the left is EL James, the hot new author of "Fifty Shades of Gray", and on the right is actress/model Larissa Riquelme who is using the "Cleavage Caddy" bra (from Mazantri Creations), a bra working like a purse, with pockets that allow you to  carry personal items.

So what's the problem? A recent case study conducted at the University of California-Irvine by Lisa Bailey’s team was of of four young women with invasive breast cancer that appears to have developed from the radiation of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposures from cellular phones carried directly against their breasts in their bras. All four developed tumors in areas of their breasts right under the phones, directly under the area of phone contact, despite having no family history of breast cancer, and no other known breast cancer risks. Now this is a small case series and so cannot be considered definitive without further confirming research (the gifted researcher David Gorski from Science-based Medicine, argues against this data being reliable), but it adds an obvious cautionary tale: unless new data arrives to show that this is safe, then in the meantime it would be prudent to keep devices that have any sort of  radiation away from sensitive body tissues like your breasts. So follow our cautious advice, and that from the Environmental Health Trust among others, to:

Save the Girls - No Cell Phone In Bras  No Phone Zone (in bra or near breasts)


For More Mature Teens:br> It Is Many Things, Pink Isn’t One of Them
No  Surrender Breast Cancer FoundationGina Maisano is an 8+ year breast cancer survivor, and the founder of the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation, whose site is one of the best breast cancer sites on the web today, an outstanding value for anyone with breast cancer, and for anyone who wants to learn more, from the survivors themselves.  And although lots of people have come to associate breast cancer with pink, from countless campaigns and ads, many women who have breast cancer have a different perspective, expressed beautifully and touchingly by Gina herself:

 

"There isn’t anything pretty, sexy or pink about what we just went through. None of us are wearing pink. We don’t have our lives wrapped in ribbons. . . . The color of hope is in a test tube in a lab somewhere, someplace. . . . Find an NIH lab and donate to the researcher working on ending this disease. Because when you or your wife or your daughter gets diagnosed, the last thing you think about is pink.
Save the future of the women in this world. Cut the pink and give directly to research."

It Is Many Things, Pink Isn’t One of Them

So one efficient way to contribute to ongoing battle against  breast cancer is to give directly to breast cancer research organizations where the money is solely used to fund research without diversion of some of the contribution to non-productive administrative costs.  And note that NIH, cited by Gina, is the National Institute of Health, the largest government research funding organization in the United States, with cancer-specific research through NCI (National Cancer Institute).  Click here for a listing of all NIH/NCI cancer research centers, then contact the center of your choice to find out about that center's breast cancer research program to which you can contribute directly. And click here or on the link at the end of Gina's quote to read the full article, and finally click on the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation logo above to visit  Gina's exceptional site.


More Breast Cancer and Breast Health Information for Teens
AAnd for kids who have a parent with cancer, or have lost a parent to cancer, Kids Konnected provide friendship, understanding, education, and support, with a 24-hour hotline, and with chapters across the country.

Be good to your breasts
Finally you should know that a study done and reported in 2002 in the Lancet medical journal showed that young women who start smoking within five years of their first menstrual period face a 70% higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who never smoke (see Risk of breast cancer from cigarette smoking greatest for teens, and also a 2005 study Breast Cancer Risk Among Women Who Start Smoking as Teenagers confirmed this). And drinking can increase the risk of breast cancer for females in any age group (see the section on alcohol on our Breast Cancer Prevention Watch site). So common sense says that in order to keep your breasts healthy:

(1) avoid smoking especially, and anything but an occasional drink, and - more than anything -
(2) get to know your breasts early - by performing breast self-exams, and finally
(3) follow a sensible healthy lifestyle of good diet and nutrition, and regular exercise:

and check out our prevention advice on our Breast Cancer Prevention Watch site (for older teens).


If you're feeling peer pressure on drinking, or just want to know more about alcohol use and abuse among teens, check out The Cool Spot, created for kids 11-13 years old by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to give you skills to resist pressure to drink, and to give you lots of reasons not to drink; another site to check is SADD - Students Against Destructive Decisions,

Then, to learn more about the harms of smoking, how to quit, or how and why to avoid starting, check out: NicotineFreeKids, COST - Children Opposed to Smoking Tobacco, KATS - Kids Against Tobacco Smoking, and Tobacco-Free Kids.org, which sponsors the yearly KickButtsDay (this year on April 5th).

 


And even some cosmetic products can pose an extra risk for breast care: many popular cosmetic and beauty products commonly used by teens such as nail polish and nail strengthener products as well as cheek blushes, acne cleansers, hair colors, mascaras, contain ingredients considered to be "reasonably anticipated” as cancer-causing in humans; to learn more about these risks, check out the report Cosmetics Popular with Teenagers Linked to Breast Cancer, Other Serious Health Problems: Adolescents are Especially Vulnerable to Toxic Exposures from Chemical Ingredients from the Breast Cancer Fund. For a rundown of what cosmetics to avoid and info on safer products, see The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics site. And good news: a ground-breaking proposal for safer cosmetics sponsored by the Breast Cancer Fund called the Cosmetics Safety Act of 2005 has now been signed into law by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Also you can go to a great site called Cosmetic Companies and Breast Cancer (from Think Before You Pink, a project of Breast Cancer Action) which gives you a guided tour of the top cosmetics companies and lists the potentially unsafe products each markets. And you can get a list of the products with the highest health concerns in 25 different product categories containing ingredients linked to cancer, pregnancy problems, and other potential health issues, in Skin Deep - Report and Cosmetics and Skin Care: Executive Summary (this is a brief summary, from ChooseOrganics.com; see below for the full site).

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has also set up as a public service a great Skin Deep site, a personal care product safety guide with in-depth information on over 14 thousand products, brands and ingredients of common cosmetics like lotions, lip balms, deodorants, sunscreens and other popular products. Skin Deep provides safety ratings and brand-by-brand comparisons that can help consumers choose safer products. And it all online and interactive so you can look up by actual brand, or by product type (like "eye shadow", "lip gloss", "lipstick", "sunscreen", even "toothpaste"! so that you can find out for yourself how safe a product really is, and which ones to buy or avoid. Definitely check out this fabulous service and use only safe cosmetics (click on the Skin Deep logo to the left)!   As an example, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep project has evaluated almost 500 sunscreen products with an SPF of 15 - 30, the vast majority of which are rated as "caution" or "to avoid", including top name brands (and for example Banana Boat Baby Max Protect, SPF = 100 has been cited in EWG's Skin Deep Hall of Shame because it fails to protect against UVA radiation associated with both skin aging and skin cancer), and only a shocking 67 products out of almost 500 were rated "recommended" in terms of safety, and overall, across all sunscreen products regardless of SPF rating, only 8% are recommended. Similarly, over one thousand 300 hundred (1307) lipsticks are evaluated for safety, of which only 202 are recommended (15%); in addition, out of 1,475 eye shadow products, just 167 are recommended (11%).  Therefore, given this sorry state of affairs in cosmetics of questionable safety, Skin Deep serves an invaluable and unique service in providing buying guidance to help select the best and safest products. 


And remember: a new report, State of the Evidence 2010: What Is the Connection Between the Environment and Breast Cancer? from the Breast Cancer Fund which identifies environmental and other preventable causes of the breast cancer, draws on nearly 350 studies linking breast cancer to synthetic chemicals and to radiation exposure, and finds that as much as half of all breast cancer may be environmental in original and cause! (And there's a shorter more readable Breast Cancer & Our Environment summary online.  These finding are especially important because the number of women (and more rarely, men) getting breast cancer has been climbing steadily in both the United States and other industrialized countries, ever since the 1940s, and it now amounts to more than one million cases per year across the world! Just in the United States alone, a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer has nearly tripled during the past four decades! And remember, although it's extremely rare, breast cancer can actually occur in teens, so make sure to check out the sites we list above and follow the advice we give for the health and safety of your breasts!


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