It was a typical summer day when Claire Warner first noticed a dimple in her left breast. She was not sure when it had first appeared. However, she stated that she would not have noticed it had it not been for a viral Facebook post she had seen of another woman’s similarly indented breast.
She made a doctor’s appointment that day after feeling around and detecting a lump. On July 1, 2016, she received her diagnosis: invasive ductal carcinoma. She began treatment right away, but knew she had to do something else, as well.
With the realization that another woman’s brave post had likely saved her life, Warner shared a photo of her own dimpled breast on Facebook.
It has since been shared more than 60,000 times. She also started a Twitter account to share her experiences. Warner appropriately named the profile “My Left Boob.”
Following a mastectomy, reconstruction and lymph node removal, Warner was declared free of cancer.
Monthly breast exams are essential. John Hopkins University reports that 40 percent of breast cancer diagnoses began with women detecting lumps in their own breasts. Regularly feeling and looking at your breasts will alert you to other changes that might indicate cancer as well.
Changes In Appearance
Watch for swelling, redness or darker spots; changes in the size or shape of your breast; dimpling or puckering as well as pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the skin.
Take note if your breast feels swollen or warm; if you have pain in a specific spot that does not resolve itself; or if your nipple is noticeably itchy, has a rash or has scaly sores.
If you begin to have nipple discharge, see your health care provider. This is especially true if the discharge comes from only one breast, appears without squeezing the nipple or the secretion is clear or bloody.
Most of the time, a benign condition is the cause behind these symptoms. However, the only way to be sure is to see your health care provider and get checked out. Remember that survival rates are highest when patients and providers detect breast cancer early.