Although lumps in the breast are a common sign of possible cancer growth, other indicators can be less obvious — and Melbourne woman Kylie Armstrong is using her own experience to spread that message.
As she explains in a public Facebook post, Armstrong noticed three shallow dimples were visible on the underside of her breast when she lifted her arm.
The indentations weren’t particularly obvious, but she mentioned to her doctor that her breasts looked different. While the GP couldn’t feel any lumps, she arranged a mammogram just to be certain — but it didn’t detect any clear signs, either.
It was only after undergoing an ultrasound that Armstrong was informed she had cancer growing deep in her breast, near her muscle.
“This is what my breast cancer looks like … These three dimples have turned my world and my family’s world upside down,” she writes.
“We are doing our best to cope. The messages and phone calls to me, my husband and my children sometimes help and sometimes make us all cry.”
Armstrong says at the moment she’s feeling shocked and numb, all while trying to deal her with tests and absorb relevant information. On Friday, she shared another post explaining she was about to go into surgery to “get this bloody cancer cut out.”
Ultimately, she wants others to learn from her experience.
Watch: The signs of ovarian cancer that every woman should know. (Post continues after video.)
“I am sharing this because I hope I can make people aware that breast cancer is not always a detectable lump. Please go straight to your GP if you notice ANY change in your breast. It could save your life,” she writes.
More than 122,000 people have shared Armstrong’s post, a number of whom shared their own breast cancer experiences and unusual symptoms in the comments.
“I was diagnosed nearly four years ago and also had the shape change. Mine was a flat spot only noticeable when I lifted up my arms,” one wrote.
“My cancer was detected doing an ultrasound. No lump at all. It was in the tissue,” another added. (Post continues after gallery.)
As the Cancer Council website explains, some people with breast cancer don’t have detectable symptoms — but it’s important to be aware of the possible signs to look for. These include:
– Lumpiness or “thickening” of the beast
– Changes to the nipple’s shape or appearance — eg. crusting, redness, sores, unusual discharge.
– Skin changes on the breast, like unusual colour changes or dimpling.
– A change in the breast size and/or shape
– Swelling or discomfort in your armpit
– Persistant pain in one breast, that isn’t what you normally experience with your period each month.
As Kylie Armstrong says, if you have any concerns at all, see your doctor and ask for a scan.
Were you aware that dimpling is a possible sign of breast cancer?