Earlier this year Claire Warner was planning to remodel her kitchen, when she made a chilling discovery. The 41-year-old mother-of-two noticed something unusual about her left breast.
There was a noticeable dimple, however she couldn’t feel a lump.
Already knowing deep down exactly what she had just discovered, Claire set up a Twitter account called My Left Boob in order to take other women along on her important journey.
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This is the profile photo of the Twitter account, a close-up of Claire’s left breast with a large dimple at the bottom, a sign of breast cancer most of us forget to look out for.
“This is a picture of my left boob,” she wrote.
“The small purplish bruise is where I had a biopsy taken. The minuscule dimple up and to the left of it is a rare and little-known symptom of BREAST CANCER. Blink and you’d miss it. I hope I’m one of the lucky ones.”
The small red dot on the right is the needle mark from the biopsy Claire had which confirmed she did indeed have breast cancer, specifically "invasive ductal carcinoma" which she is now being treated for.
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Like most women Claire knew of the importance of regular breast checks, knowing to press gently across both breasts with her fingers feeling for lumps, continuing all the way to under each of her arms. What she wasn't aware of was the fact that dimpling of the breast as pictured above is another symptom of breast cancer.
When she presented to her doctor with the dimpling, he quickly found the corresponding lump, ordered tests and Claire began her treatment.
Claire went from planning to redesign her kitchen, to a biopsy, to a diagnosis, to writing a will and then surgery, chemo and radiotherapy - all in a matter of weeks.
Now Claire, who lives in the UK, is using her My Left Breast Twitter account and hash tag #CheckForTheDimple to educate women about less common signs of breast cancer.
“PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check yourself and get your loved ones to check themselves also,” she wrote.
“If I can help one other person, the way I was helped, then it’s been worth showing my soon-to-be-reduced left tit to the world.”
Less common signs of breast cancer can include:
- Dimpling of the breasts;
- Changes to your nipples such as soreness and discharge;
- Thickening of the skin of the breasts or under your armpits;
- Red or swollen breasts.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in Australian according to the McGraths Foundation with one in eight women being diagnosed before the age of 85.
However survival rates have greatly improved, with a 90% chance of surviving five years after initial diagnosis.
If you have any concerns please visit the McGrath Foundation website or contact your GP.