Women have reached out to Newstalk broadcaster Dr Ciara Kelly to say that after watching her video on breast cancer they have since been diagnosed with the disease.
Dr Kelly is a former GP and posted the video about how to check your breasts for signs of cancer as part of breast awareness month:
“A lot of women came back to me and said, ‘It was a cyst, it was a lymph node, it was something else’, which was great.
“But off the back of the video as well, several women have contacted me and said, ‘Thank you’ - I don’t know about being thanked to some extent - ‘I now have a diagnosis, I’ve got breast cancer.’”
Speaking to The Anton Savage Show, Dr Kelly advised women to learn about what is ‘normal’ for their breasts and to check them regularly:
“Know the hang of them, the lie of them, the weight of them,” Dr Kelly said.
“Because it isn’t just that you find a lump and a lump is something that you look for. Bear in mind one thing, that if you do find a lump, please don’t panic. Nine out of 10 lumps are not cancer, okay. They’re cysts, they’re bits of grizzle, they’re other things, okay. But we still always follow them up.
“But there are other things you look for. Changes to the skin, changes to the nipple, pain, one breast changing in size and becoming larger, puckering where the breast pulls a little bit.”
Change in size or shape
“Know what your boobs feel like, how heavy they are. And for most women your breasts will be slightly different sizes because none of us are particularly symmetrical.
“If you see a change in size or shape, if you see a change in skin, you might see [what] we call ‘orange skin’. Okay, so it’s like little accentuated pores. You know if you look at orange skin, you’ve got those pores.
“Or puckering where you might see the skin pulled somewhere, which means there’s something underneath, tugging on it.
“You see nipple changes. So the nipple can invert or change shape or position.
“Secretions, so discharge from the nipple, you could see blood, you could see… maybe straw coloured liquid or other types of things like that. If something that comes out of your nipple that you weren’t expecting.
“So there’s lots of signs of cancer.... before we get near lumps or bumps.
“And also for lumps, you don’t just look at the breasts for lumps, you actually look right the way up into the armpit. Your breast tissue has a tail that goes right up into your armpit, and you look in the armpit there.”
Anyone with such symptoms should contact their GP.
Main Image: A consultant analyses a mammogram. Picture by: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/PA Images