At only 8, Chrissy Turner from Utah becomes the youngest girl in the world to fight breast cancer. She has recently been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, called secretory carcinoma – a condition that represents only 1 percent of the breast cancer cases, affecting one in a million.
The girl has been diagnosed after she has told her parents about a lump in her chest. The whole family was in shock after they had been given the bed news, especially considering the fact that both of her parents are cancer survivors. Her mother, Annette Turner had to fight cervical cancer and her father, Troy – a Decorated Veteran, fought non-Hodgikins lymphoma that still needs to be monitored regularly.
Now the girl has to undergo what doctors called a “simple mastectomy” that was scheduled for December, in order to prevent the cancer to spread. The surgery will be done by a specialist surgeon at the Huntsman Cancer Institute but the girl will be moved to recover at the Primary Children’s Hospital.
Chrissy’s case is being reviewed by the best oncologists in the US while the next week it will be discussed in the Utah state tumor board. Even if there are only about 15 documented cases to compare to, the doctors are confident that at this stage of development the condition is very treatable.
In medical journals, the researchers argue that secretory carcinoma, even if it’s a rare form of cancer, generally has favorable prognosis. This form of cancer was recognized for the first time by McDivitt and Stewart in 1966 and until recently it used to be called ‘juvenile carcinoma’, since it had a higher occurring rate in young children. But since then, there were 19 known cases, at people with ages between 9 and 69 years old so the term was replaced with ‘secretory carcinoma’.
One of the Turner family’s friends launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe, trying to raise $100,000 to help the family, who already filed bankruptcy in 2013 as a result of the enormous medical bills following the parents’ cancer. There were already about 400 donors and almost $19,000 raised in only seven days.
In spite of all their problems, the whole family is trying to stay positive in order to support Chrissy through her battle. Annette is praying for her daughter, while trying to keep her head up, knowing that the most important thing is not to give up.
Image source: Chrissy’s GoFundMe campaign