Effects Of Poland Syndrome On Middle School Girls

1920 words - 8 pages

Middle school is a hard time on girls with bullying, trying to fit in, and figuring out who they are. People don’t realize that middle school is a time when children are transitioning from childhood to the teenage years, which can come with emotions like confusion and frustration. Living with a rare birth defect adds more pressure to a young teenager. They’re different physically and children become more aware of that in the middle school years. This can cause even more bullying and possibly make the child feel like an outcast. Girls are brutal at this age by leaving others out and hurting others’ feelings just because they aren’t like everyone else. This can make it harder for those girls with birth defects to cope with the transitioning and stress of middle school. If these girls are bullied for just a few physical differences, it may be worse if they have another defect or disease causing yet another difference. Middle school girls diagnosed with Poland Syndrome - “described as an undevelopment or absence of the chest muscle on one side of the body and webbing of the fingers on the affected side” (The Genomics Landscape) - not only face more emotional issues than other girls their age, but they have more physical and immunity issues as well. This paper will examine the background information of Poland Syndrome, emotional stories of middle school girls with Poland Syndrome that went through stressful times with their birth defect, and how people with Poland Syndrome are more susceptible to other diseases and defects than others.
About one out of every 10,000 to 100,000 births, a child is born with the birth defect: Poland Syndrome or Poland Anomaly. The birth defect can be apparent from either birth or adolescence depending on the severity level (The Genomics Landscape). According to the US National Library of Medicine, people with Poland Syndrome usually have symbrachydatyly or many hand abnormalities which affect the same side of the body as the smaller chest area (Genetics Home Reference). They also may be missing armpit hair under the effected arm. Since there is muscle missing in the chest area, the ribs of an effected person are more visible than usual because there is less fat on that side. Women tend to have an underdeveloped breast on their affected side (which is usually the right side). In middle school, when a girl is maturing with this birth defect, her breast on the affected side is smaller than the other, her whole affected side of the chest is skinnier than the other, her hand and arm may be smaller and shorter, and her fingers could be webbed. While there is no cure for Poland Syndrome, some of the symptoms can be treated with surgery and therapy. Many people with the birth defect get surgeries to pull the hand back so it is not as curled. Then, they have to go through many hours of therapy to enhance the flexibility of the muscle. According to NHGRI, females wanting the reconstructive surgery for their chest or arm must...

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