Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

I was diagnosed while breastfeeding my baby girl. Basically I found a lump when she was 8 mths old - so at the time when your breasts stop storing milk and start producing on demand - as my breast deflated there was a tumour sitting there. And at first same days I could feel I and others I couldn’t. It just depended how full my breasts were. I thought it was a blocked duct at first.

Knowing what I know now I do not feel breast health is promoted to this group of women at all. It certainly wasn’t to me. If anything there is a lot of literature out there saying all these changes can be normal.

I was thinking i would like to do something to try and promote more to this group of ladies a but now i wonder if that is even possible?? Without causing unnecessary anxiety in the vast majority of cases.

But breast cancer in young women is often aggressive - and earlier diagnosis obviously I good thing. I am a stage 2/3 with a 4cm tumour.

Do you think there is anything that could be done better out there?? If I could help to save anyone from being told they had a stage 3 tumour whilst BFing then I would. A BC diagnosis with a baby in your arms is truly devastating as many of you know.

Hi Manny,

I totally agree with you, I had not long stopped breastfeeding when I discovered a lump and I to thought it was a blocked milk duct and didnt go and see my gp straight away, during breastfeeding I got mastitus in my right breast which is the breast I found the tumour in. I remember so many people saying and reading articles about breast feeding reducing the risk of breast cancer as well as other things, so yes breast health is soo important to this group of women as well as everyone else. I am not saying for a minute that breastfeeding was what caused the cancer but since being on this forum there seems to be so many women who are affected to who were/are breastfeeding, and awareness of how to check your breasts when they are going through breast feeding as to what is normal and what is not should be encouraged.

Good post

Donna : )

There is a definite problem where professionals are not communicating to breastfeeding women.

I breastfed my daughter up until my diagnosis (that was 2.5 years, she is three in August).

I trained as a breastfeeding helper for the breastfeeding network. During the training I wasn’t told anything about lumps except to refer the person to their GP if a lump was present. I guess thats the best advice, but it wasn’t communicated how serious this could be (most of the time, even the professionals think its just a blocked duct or something).

I lost a lot of weight and was also at the end of my breastfeeding when I found my lump.

I think breastfeeding itself DOES help reduce cancer risk because science has proven that. So I would always encourage breastfeeding. However I think women need to be made aware that it won’t *prevent* breast cancer entirely and that they need to always be checking themselves and take it seriously if there is a lump.