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