‘Breastfeeding saved my life’: Mum discovers cancerous lump while nursing her baby

·5 min read
Amy Palmer discovered a lump while breastfeeding, pictured with her husband Colin and two young children Lenny, now one, and Frankie, four. (SWNS)
Amy Palmer discovered a lump while breastfeeding, pictured with her husband Colin and two young children Lenny, now one, and Frankie, four. (SWNS)

A mum who discovered a cancerous lump when she was breastfeeding her baby, is urging other women to be aware of the symptoms of breast cancer. 

Amy Palmer, 30, from Paignton, Devon, first noticed the lump on her breast while nursing her then five-month-old son, Lenny and decided to get it checked out straight away by medical professionals. 

Initially, doctors said it was probably a blocked milk duct, but further tests confirmed the mother-of-two had breast cancer.

Both Palmer and her husband Colin burst into tears when they were told, with the unexpected news leaving her family and friends devastated.

Thankfully, two years on, after undergoing several bouts of intensive treatment, including a lumpectomy, six rounds of chemotherapy and 18 rounds of radiotherapy, Palmer has recovered.

Read more: Elizabeth Hurley reveals she saved friends' lives by encouraging them to check for breast cancer

Palmer pictured pre-cancer diagnosis with her husband and children. (SWNS)
Palmer pictured pre-cancer diagnosis with her husband and children. (SWNS)

Since her treatment, Palmer, who lives with her husband and two young children Lenny, now four, and Frankie, six, has been encouraging women to check their breasts.

In the UK, women aged 50 to 71 are invited for NHS breast screenings every three years, but Palmer believes the age of mammogram testing should be lowered.

"I don't know why the start age [for mammogram testing] is so low, as my case proves this happens to people of all ages," she explains. 

"I'd like to see anyone over the age of 18 offered screenings.

"Since my diagnosis, I've seen women in their 20s diagnosed with breast cancer. Screening early could only save lives," she adds. 

Watch: Elizabeth Hurley reveals how she helped to save her friends' lives

Despite her treatment being successful, Palmer has also made a bucket list of things she wants to do, including taking part in the Disney Princess 'Run to the Magic' race, doing a skydive, entering the London Marathon and visiting New York.

"I had so much planned for 2020, including ticking things off my bucket list, but like everyone else, everything was put on hold, so hopefully I will get to tick some things off in the near future," she explains. 

"You never think anything like this is going to happen to you, until it does," she continues.

"It was a shock, just a complete shock.

"My cancer seems like a bit of a dream now - it's hard to believe I went through it all."

Read more: Primark praised for booking cancer patient to model post-surgery bra: 'Strong and beautiful'

Palmer underwent a lumpectomy, six rounds of chemotherapy and 18 rounds of radiotherapy, pictured during her treatment. (SWNS)
Palmer underwent a lumpectomy, six rounds of chemotherapy and 18 rounds of radiotherapy, pictured during her treatment. (SWNS)

Palmer hopes that by sharing her story, she might help to raise awareness about the importance of checking your breasts. 

"I've had so many people come forward asking for advice on a lump or how to check themselves with some even being diagnosed afterwards," she explains. 

"So I'm pleased that sharing my journey has helped to raise awareness."

Read more: How and when to check your breasts

Victoria Ekanoye also recently discovered a lump while breastfeeding, pictured in November 2021. (Getty Images)
Victoria Ekanoye also recently discovered a lump while breastfeeding, pictured in November 2021. (Getty Images)

Palmer's story echoes that of former Coronation Street actor, Victoria Ekanoye, who also discovered a lump while breastfeeding. 

Ekanoye, who played Angie Appleton in the soap, found a lump in her breast whilst feeding her 11-month-old son Theo earlier this year.

Speaking to OK! magazine about her cancer journey, the actor said: "Back in July, I was feeding Theo and I noticed there was a small lump protruding at the top of my left breast.

"My mum had breast cancer at 41, and her sister at 39 - so many people in my family, in fact. So I don't really leave any time before I check these things.

"I was diagnosed on October 13 with DCIS, which is ductal carcinoma in situ. It basically means that cells have turned cancerous within the milk ducts.

"We're being really optimistic, and positive, and really lucky that we've caught it as early as we have. I don't know if lucky is the right word, but that's how I feel."

Read more: I had a double mastectomy at 25. Now I design lacy lingerie for women like me

Palmer is determined to complete a bucket list of experiences with her family. (SWNS)
Palmer is determined to complete a bucket list of experiences with her family. (SWNS)

Palmer has shared some words of support to Ekanoye, having been through a similar experience herself. 

"If I could say one thing to Ekanoye, I'd just tell her to keep going," she says. 

"Her baby boy will give her the fight to get through this hurdle, just like my baby boy did for me."

Palmer also suggests that Ekanoye opens up to people and doesn't try to be strong for everyone else. 

"I found it really hard to ask for help but I had to - I felt like I was failing my family, but now I know I was doing everything to be there for my family and for our future," she explains. 

"Every time someone is diagnosed, I immediately feel for them as I know what the journey ahead is like and how hard it will be. 

"I just hope Ekanoye gets the support she needs."

Additional reporting SWNS.

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