A woman recalls the moment she saw something unusual in the mirror that saved her life.
Susan Hunter-Dabson was blow-drying her hair and noticed something strange as she lifted her arm.
The 57-year-old told ITV News: “I was drying my hair and when I lifted my arm, the round, cup-shaped part of my chest went flat.
“I had a G cup, so it was hard to feel anything, but I knew the look wasn’t right.
“Because my mother was diagnosed with cancer at a young age and had beaten it, I decided to go to the doctor.”
Most people associate breast cancer with a lump.
But there are about a dozen symptoms of the disease, some of which are less well known than others.
This could be a change in the shape or size of the breast, or a flattening or shrinking of the breast.
Pucking or thickening of the skin, or fluid from the nipple that is bloody, foul-smelling, or cloudy can also be important symptoms.
It’s important to be “breast aware” — familiar with how your breasts normally look — so you can notice any changes early on.
Susan, from Bedfordshire, was reassured by her GP that her symptoms were probably nothing to worry about – there could be other medical conditions causing them.
But he referred her for tests anyway.
Susan said: “While I was concerned about the results, I was confident it wouldn’t be too serious.
“My husband, Simon, came to my appointment and I’m so glad he was there because out of nowhere I was told I had cancer.
“It was such a shock because I really couldn’t believe that I had cancer.
“I was sedated after being told I had a 6cm mass in my left breast, and in the course of the examination the doctors found another primary cancer in my right breast.”
Susan began a six-month course of chemotherapy before undergoing surgery to remove some breast tissue.
She had four surgeries followed by four weeks of radiotherapy.
After Susan’s ordeal, which lasted more than a year, she was fortunate to hear that her cancer was in remission.
She said she “burst into tears” because it was the “greatest relief”.
“I knew I had a future,” she said.
Following her experience, Susan is now raising money for Cancer Research UK by participating in the charity’s Cycle 300 campaign.
Elisa Mitchell, from the Cancer Research Department in Bedfordshire, said: “Over the past 20 years, the incredible generosity and dedication of people like Susan Cancer Research UK has helped make discoveries that have saved countless lives and benefited millions of people around the world.
“But we have so much more to do. So we hope Susan’s story will set off a chain reaction in Bedfordshire that will help us continue to invest in science today to deliver tomorrow’s treatments.”
In the UK, around 56,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and 11,500 die.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and is reproduced here with permission.