Health

Wantirna mum's important breast lesson to the women of the world

Local resident Kylie Armstrong is sharing her strong, passionate message with the world - know your breasts.

Noticing a very slight flattening on the side of her breast around Christmas 2015 and then a few months later in February 2016 Kylie noticed that very faint dimples had appeared in that same spot she made the right call and made an appointment with her GP.

Kylie was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2016.

There was no lump, it was very faint change in my breast, so I asked my husband if he could see the dimples and he said he could but he wouldn't have noticed them unless I had pointed them out. Neither of us could feel a lump, I didn't know at the time that this was a tell-tale sign of breast cancer and although I was not overly worried, thought it was a change to the normal appearance and I should get it checked out, explained Kylie.

The GP could not feel a lump but agreed if the breast looked different to normal it should be checked out and ordered a mammogram and ultrasound.

When the results came back the following day Kylie's GP referred her to Ringwood Breast Care's Rapid Access Breast Clinic to see Dr Katrina Read, a specialist breast surgeon, for an appointment the next morning.

"Katrina was great, I had my appointment with her, she confirmed it was cancer, told me I would be having my surgery the following week at Ringwood Private Hospital and sent me for a biopsy then and there. Bone scans and CT scans followed a few days later. The waiting for results to confirm the type of cancer and if it had spread anywhere else was short, but excruciating.

From diagnosis to surgery it all happened really quickly, I have spoken with people that have had to wait two weeks just to see a doctor for an initial appointment, I can't imagine how painful and stressful that would be," said Kylie.

Kylie's surgery was successful and she is currently undergoing radiation.

"The fact that you can get into Ringwood Breast Care and have all the tests taken care of there, takes away a great deal of stress. You get to know all the staff and they are happy to hold your hand throughout it all, the team really are fantastic,"explained Kylie.

After her diagnosis Kylie posted a picture of the dimpling on her breast on Facebook with an explanation of her journey and also to let women know that breast cancer is not always detectable by a lump.

"I have been asked numerous times why I put the photo of my breast with the dimpling on Facebook, and the simple answer is to let people know of my diagnosis and to also make people aware that a lump is not the only indicator to breast cancer any change in your breast needs to be checked out," said Kylie.

Since posting her message on Facebook Kylie has reached close to 200,000 shares, likes and comments, with people commenting from all over the world, she has even been asked to appear on a medical TV show in America.

"I've had a couple of people report me to Facebook for inappropriate content but thankfully Facebook doesn't share their concern and my message is still spreading," said Kylie.

General Manager of Ringwood Private Hospital, Megan Mills explained that Kylie's message is such an important one.

"Kylie really is remarkable, her approach to tackling breast cancer and her willingness to share her story to help educate others is highly admirable," said Megan.

"When you're diagnosed, you feel lost, you wait to be directed as to what to do and when to do it. The fact that everything was taken care of in the same hospital makes it easier, I never had to get in the car and drive somewhere else," said Kylie.

"We understand that our patients are going through an incredibly stressful period and one of the advantages of being treated at Ringwood Breast Care is that we provide everything under one roof, our ladies are treated as part of our family," explains Megan.

Kylie sums up her experience by saying I would rather have never known about breast cancer first hand and how everything works when you're in hospital, but if was going to happen I am glad that it happened here at Ringwood Breast Care.

The message I want to give women is, if you see any change at all, or see something different get it checked out. If it is nothing, it will have cost you time and money but what will it cost you if it is serious, what's the cost then?asked Kylie.