Breast cancer is a killer that has taken many lives year after year. The major problem of this cancer is that many people don’t pay attention to it on time, and even when they see signs, they take it for granted.
Jackie Harris of Breast Cancer Care says: “It’s really important to get to know your breasts so you can spot anything that isn’t normal.
“Any change is worth getting checked out.”
Eluned Hughes of Breast Cancer Care adds: “The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chances of beating it. It’s important to recognise the different signs and check your breasts regularly.”
The Sun shared 7 experiences of people, including a man who had breast cancer but didn’t know until they went for a checkup in the hospital. Read their experience below and learn from it.
“I had never had problems with my skin when I noticed a large patch of flaky skin around my right nipple. I used all kinds of creams from the pharmacy and I just assumed it would go in time.
“A year later, my nipple had started to crack and my breast looked distorted.
“I was referred to hospital and had a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy which confirmed I had a 5cm cancerous tumour.
“I was stunned. I was in my twenties and had no family history of cancer.
“I needed a mastectomy, reconstruction, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I now take Tamoxifen tablets, too.
“It is so important to check your breasts, not just for lumps but for other abnormalities. I didn’t know a rash could be a sign of breast cancer. Had I not acted on it, it could have been fatal.”
“I was first diagnosed in 2002 after I had a crawling sensation in my left breast that wouldn’t go away. The skin also started to dimple and I realised it wasn’t normal. Tests revealed I had a tiny lump and it was cancerous.
“At 49, I was surprised to have breast cancer and it took some getting used to. I had the lump removed, and radiotherapy, and all looked fine. But two years ago I noticed a change in my right breast – there appeared to be a ridge on the lower side. At first I thought it was because my bra was too tight. But tests showed I had grade-3 breast cancer.
“I had the lump removed, and chemotherapy which made me really sick. I’m still on medication but things are better. Please don’t ignore any changes in your breasts. Spotting changes early and acting on it could save your life.”
“I first noticed something was wrong with my left boob when my nipple started going inwards. I wasn’t too worried at first but when I found a small lump, which started to grow, I went to the doctor who referred me to a breast clinic.
“I had an ultrasound, a mammogram and biopsy and got told on the same day it was highly likely I had breast cancer. It was like a bomb going off and it was hard to tell people I was having a mastectomy, reconstruction and chemotherapy.
“I struggled with chemo – it made me sick and tired. But online support groups helped.
“It is vital you get into the habit of checking your boobs and know what to look out for. And if something isn’t normal for you, go and get it checked out.
“Things might not have been the same for me if I had delayed seeing my doctor.”
“Many people aren’t aware blokes can get breast cancer – but I did. When I was 36, I noticed a lump on the left side of my chest which didn’t go away. I thought it was a fatty mass or a cyst but my wife encouraged me to go to the doctor.
“I was referred for hospital tests and was stunned to find out it was cancerous. I had a mastectomy, all my lymph nodes removed, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I was really nervous about the surgery but it was fine. They took away the nipple, and my chest hair doesn’t grow like it used to, but the scar has faded a lot.
“The cancer then came back four years ago, spotted at my regular check-up, and I still take medication. I would urge anyone – male or female – to regularly check their chest for anything unusual.
“It is always better to be safe than sorry.”
“I was 21 when I noticed stains in my bras from nipple discharge. I never knew this was a symptom of breast cancer. I later found a lump under my right breast and went to A&E. But the doctor told me I had lumpy boobs and not to worry.
“When I turned 23, the discharge was bloody and I felt pain in my armpit. My GP referred me for tests which revealed I had breast cancer. I had treatment to freeze my eggs, then had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and reconstruction.
“Although it looked like the cancer had gone, doctors then told me last year that it has returned, spread and is incurable. I’m having chemo to keep it at bay for as long as I can and a tumour in my lung has shrunk but the cancer is in my bones and liver.
“Please know all the signs of breast cancer and be persistent if you get dismissed by medics.”
“I lifted my arm up to brush my hair after having a shower, when I noticed an indentation in my left breast.
“I mentioned it to my doctor when I went for my usual check-up. I saw a specialist less than a week later, when I had a CT scan, mammogram and biopsy.
“The tests showed I had a 2cm cancerous tumour behind my nipple and I was told I needed a mastectomy, chemotherapy and my lymph nodes removing.
“It was hard to come to terms with everything, especially because I’d just lost my mum to bowel cancer and my son was working abroad. Fortunately, treatment seems to have worked. All of my mammograms have been clear.
“I knew that any change to the breast could mean cancer. So make sure you know yours well enough to act – and act fast if you spot something.”
“I’ve always been really aware of breast cancer after my grandmother had it. I always knew the importance of checking.
“I noticed a lump in my armpit last year. When it didn’t go away, I went to my GP. They first said it looked like a lymph node infection and would go.
“But when a second one appeared, I was referred for tests. A blood check revealed nothing but I was diagnosed with breast cancer after having a biopsy.
“I wasn’t aware that women of 29 could get breast cancer.
“I froze my eggs before starting chemotherapy, which made me really sick. It felt like the worst hangover of my life. Now I’m having six-monthly check-ups to make sure all is OK.
“It’s vital that women of all ages are aware of all the signs of breast cancer and check their breasts regularly.”