Shakti Dalal thought she only had a blocked milk duct when a mass developed under her arm a few weeks ago. She went to the doctor who then diagnosed her with stage 3 breast cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes. Then she remembered something else, too. Her newborn daughter Laila had stopped nursing on that side just weeks before.
The doctor said the taste of the milk was changed by the cancer and that her little girl had known before she did. Terribly sad story, but also such a great reminder that the clues that one has cancer can often be somewhat subtle.
Some signs include lumps, redness on the breast, nipple changes and nipple discharge, but a nursing mom might believe these things were coming from the fact that she is nursing. Still, the baby stopping is a sign and not one we all would recognize.
I have had shooting pain in my breasts from time to time and thought of it as cysts since I have lumpier than average breasts. But now I am going to go and get that checked out. One can never be too safe, right?
Having lived through several family members who got the disease, I am not an expert. I am just someone whose life has been profoundly changed by this evil scourge. If I could advise women to do any one thing it's not to ignore anything. Any changes to your breasts, no matter how small, need to be checked out. It's a lesson I need to take myself.
Let's hope and pray that Dalal and her miracle baby get through this in good health with long lives ahead of them both.
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