A young mum has shared how she has her baby son to thank for saving her life – after she discovered a cancerous lump while breastfeeding him.
Amy Palmer, 30, noticed she had a lump on her breast while nursing Lenny, who was then five months old.
Doctors initially attributed it to a blocked milk duct, but further tests revealed it was in fact breast cancer – a revelation which left Palmer in “shock”.
She said: "When the results came back, they called me and asked me to come to the hospital that afternoon - I knew exactly what they were going to say.”
Palmer, who lives in Paignton, Devon, with husband Colin and her two young children Lenny, now one, and Frankie, four, said she burst into tears when she heard the news.
"It was a shock, just a complete shock. You never think anything like this is going to happen to you, until it does,” added the young mum. “It hit my husband really hard.”
However, after an intensive course of treatments including a lumpectomy, six rounds of chemotherapy and 18 rounds of radiotherapy, things are looking up for Palmer – whose treatment has successfully removed her cancer.
Yet Palmer will have to continue getting follow up treatments for life, according to her friend Roxanne Hancox.
"Although [Amy’s] treatment has gone well, this will affect her for life - she will have to have ongoing treatment and is already having regular injections,” said the friend. "It just goes to show that this can happen to anyone of any age, it's not just older people it affects.”
Going forward, Palmer is encouraging people of all ages to check their breasts regularly. She also believes the age for mammogram testing should be lowered.
In the UK, women aged 50 to 71 are invited for NHS breast screenings every three years.
"I don't know why the start age is so low, as my case proves this happens to people of all ages,” said Palmer. "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."