Hayley Browning always checked for lumps in her breast while standing up – just as she was told. But she ended up finding her breast cancer in an unusual way and she’s sharing her “trick” to help inform other women.
“Three weeks ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I could only feel the lump whilst lying down and it completely disappeared standing up. Most websites tell you to check for lumps in the shower but if I had followed this advice, the lump may have grown too large to be treatable,” Browning said in a Facebook post that’s now gone viral.
A lump in the breast is the most common first sign of cancer – sometimes mammogram will detect it before it can be felt, or in other cases, women find it, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
“The lump may feel hard, irregular in shape and very different from the rest of the breast tissue,” the organization explains.
But there are other warning signs, too. Last year, British doctors warned that one in six women diagnosed with breast cancer had other warning signs they should have paid attention to.
“It is crucial that women are aware that a lump is not the only symptom of breast cancer. If they are worried about any breast symptoms, the best thing to do is get it checked by a doctor as soon as possible,” Monica Koo, the report’s lead author, said.
Other signs and symptoms of breast cancer that women need to pay attention to include:
- Skin changes, such as if the breast becomes dimpled or puckered. Sometimes this is called orange peel skin or peau d’orange.
- Redness, swelling, itchiness and warmth could be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer.
- Nipple changes, such as suddenly becoming inverted, or leaving discharge without squeezing.
- Bone pain.
- Nausea, loss of appetite and weight loss.
- Shortness of breath and coughing.
- Headaches, double vision and muscle weakness.