Breast cancer doesn’t always come in obvious, lump-like forms. Sometimes it’s as subtle as a slight wave in your skin that you’d only notice if you were looking very closely. One woman from Manchester found such a minor abnormality on her breast, and now she’s getting a mastectomy.
Lisa Royle happened to notice that a few small dimples had formed under her left breast. Sure enough, when she got it checked out, she discovered she had cancer serious enough to require a full mastectomy. While this news would knock anyone off their feet, Royle decided to turn her personal discovery into a life-saving device. She posted a picture of her dimpled breast on Facebook with this caption:
“I never thought I would post a boob picture on Facebook, but I thought I would before it gets chopped off next week. So here it is. This all that I found on my boob. Very subtle dimples underneath that could easily be missed when we’re all rushing round getting ready in a morning. Please take time to look at your boobs. It could save your life.”
She took the photo the week before she had her mastectomy, and it quickly went viral, amassing over 36,000 likes and 59,000 shares. Most of the comments are incredibly warm and supportive, as people are no doubt rooting for the 42-year-old mom of four to pull through. Her husband is unbelievably proud of her bravery, and calls her an “inspiration.”
While this subtle dimpling of the breast is a less common sign of breast cancer, it’s still something of which to be wary. Susan K. Boolbol, M.D., Chief of the Division of Breast Surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel told Yahoo, “As a cancer grows, it can pull the skin in. It is the same thing that can cause the nipple to become inverted.” So if you see similar dimpling to what cellulite often causes on your thighs and butt, you probably want to get it checked out by your doctor.
According to her husband, Lisa is recovering well after surgery, but her experience is a cautionary tale to all with breast tissue (yes that can include you guys). The best way to minimize your chances of breast cancer affecting you like this is to constantly self check, and immediately report any unusual changes to your doctor. Early detection is the key to effective treatment and survival if you are diagnosed, and lumps are far from the only symptom of which you should be aware. Here are eight more.
Symptoms and signs indicative of breast cancer
1. An unusual rash, especially around the nipple.
2. sudden increase or decrease in size to either or both breasts.
3. A swollen lymph node in your armpit or by your collar bone that feels like a lump.
4. Strange discharge from your nipple without squeezing it.
5. Pain in your breast or armpit that’s constant.
6. Skin texture suddenly feeling like a puckered orange peel, or dimply.
7. A nipple that changes direction, or suddenly becomes inverted.
8. An area of thickened or lumpy breast tissue.
Check out the website Breast Cancer Care for more information. Checking your breast should fit into your weekly routine, like showering or exercising. It takes very little time, allows you to be the most familiar with your body so you know when something’s wrong, and as Kate said, it could very well save your life.