A young woman is urging people to get any lumps, no matter how big or small, checked after having half her breast removed after a shock diagnosis.
Kaylee, from Blackpool, noticed a small lump on her left breast two months ago, but decided not to go and get it checked, despite advice from her parents and boyfriend, because it gave her no pain or discomfort.
After being referred to a breast cancer clinic, 18-year-old Kaylee began feeling pain which she described as being “worse than labour.”
She wrote on Facebook: “I ended up ringing 111 as a shooting pain through my chest kept leaving me breathless and I ended up in A&E to which they told me it was an abscess.
“They did not know the cause as causes for breast abscess’ are usually down to breastfeeding which I didn’t do or smoking which I had quit before it appeared, so they sent me home with antibiotics.”
After five days of taking antibiotics, Kaylee’s abscess had doubled in size, prompting doctors to book her in for an operation the very next day.
However, the breast clinic advised they hold off on the operation before they could scan to see if there were any other options.
“I was sent home with an appointment for a week later and during this time the infection spread rapidly causing rotting to the skin,” she explained.
An ultrasound scan revealed up to 60ml of infected puss behind Kaylee’s areola, forcing her to have the majority of her left breast removed.
“I guess my message is girls and boys if you EVER find a lump I’m begging you please do not ignore it because at the age of 18 I never ever thought I’d be losing part of my womanhood to such a small thing I chose to ignore,” she continued.
“The surgeon told me that if I didn’t get it sorted when I did then the infection would of eventually killed me. My confidence has been knocked massively and it’s gonna’ take a lot to come back from this mentally so honestly don’t wait like I did.”
The NHS offers guidelines on how to properly check our breasts for lumps, advising we look at and feel each breast and armpit, and up to your collarbone.
It suggests the easiest way to do this is in the bath or shower, so we can run a soapy hand over each breast and up to the armpit.
We should also look at our breasts in the mirror, both front on and stood to the side with our arms in the air.
Nine-out-of-10 lumps found in breasts turn out to be non-cancerous, but if you find any changes in your breasts, it’s best to visit a GP as soon as possible.
More than 55,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. If cancer is located just in the breast, the five year survival rate for people with breast cancer is 99 per cent, so it’s never too late to start checking for lumps.