March 8, 2016 2:35 pm
Updated: March 9, 2016 12:10 pm

Australian woman warns of subtle sign of breast cancer to watch out for

WATCH: Kylie Armstrong's viral Facebook post is shedding light on a subtle sign that others should be watching out for.


A lesser-known sign of breast cancer helped save a Melbourne woman’s life recently.

When Kylie Armstrong first had her breasts examined, neither she nor her doctor felt any lumps. She insisted to her physician, though, that they looked different. She could see “very, very faint dimples on the underside of [her breast].”

Her doctor sent her for a mammogram. And when that didn’t turn up a conclusive result, for an ultrasound.

“The ultrasound found the cancer deep in my breast close to the muscle,” Armstrong wrote on Facebook late last week before going in for surgery.

“These three dimples have turned my world and my family’s world upside down.”

“I am sharing this because I hope I can make people aware that breast cancer is not always a detectable lump.”

She encouraged women to go straight to their doctor if they notice any changes in their breasts.

“It could save your life.”

READ MORE: This lesser known breast cancer warning sign helped save British woman’s life

Last May, 42-year-old Lisa Royle‘s similar story was shared more than 70,000 times on Facebook. The Manchester woman wrote that a dimple on the bottom of her breast was the red flag which tipped her off that something was wrong.

Potential symptoms of breast cancer

A change in size or shape, redness or a rash on the skin around the nipple and even discharge are some of the possible breast cancer symptoms women need to pay attention to, according to Breast Cancer Care, a U.K. organization.

Dr. Sue Fraser, an Australian breast physician, told Mashable dimpling isn’t as common as a lump but it is something to look out for.

“Dimpling is usually a sign something is pulling on the tissue and sometimes a small cancer that is in the breast can alter some of the architecture and attach itself to the skin or it can just make an impression on the tissue that can actually alter the skin,” she said.

“Sometimes it is the only symptom.”

READ MORE: Are moles a warning sign for breast cancer? New research suggests there is a link

A lump in the breast is a tell-tale sign that women should visit their doctors to check for breast cancer, but what about other lesser known signs?

READ MORE: Watch for symptoms, young cervical cancer patient urges women in cautionary tale

Being physically active, breastfeeding, and avoiding smoking and alcohol have all been said to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

High levels of sugar consumption in the typical Western diet, according to a recent U.S. study, can increase the risk of breast cancer growth and development even after diagnosis.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women, according to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. The group estimated that in 2015, 25,000 Canadian women were diagnosed with the disease and 5,000 people died from it — that amounts to a death toll of approximately 14 women a day.

Armstrong’s Facebook post received an outpouring of support, along with messages from women saying her story has convinced them to get checked.

She said she wishes them well as they “endure the torturous wait” on results.

With files from Carmen Chai and Allison Vuchnich, Global News

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