This Morning’s Deidre Sanders’ cancer can produce ‘atypical’ symptoms

Deidre Sanders discusses her cancer diagnosis on This Morning

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Deidre Sanders, 77, has shared that she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this summer. What started as an ache turned out to be a condition called ductal carcinoma in situ. Sitting side by side, Deidre and Doctor Nighat appeared on This Morning to talk about this type of breast cancer and its warning signs.

“I was just achy and I’m really glad that I was actually because that made me check,” said Deidre, speaking on the show.

While the 77-year-old’s only symptom was an ache, Doctor Nighat has outlined an array of other signs to be aware of.

The doctor said: “There are atypical symptoms and in fact, unusually, I sometimes have picked up breast cancer in the 15 years that I’ve been a doctor, where the symptoms have been completely unassociated.”

While changes in the skin or thickening of your breast are the usual red flags, the signs can also strike other parts of your body.

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Doctor Nighat has shared that the “unusual” symptoms to spot include:

  • Backache
  • Shoulder blade ache
  • Jaw pain.

She continued: “Then, I’ve done a breast examination while the patient’s there and thought ‘Oh gosh, I can feel a thickening there’.

“So, knowing your family history, doing a regular self-examination is really important, and even offering up those unusual atypical symptoms to the doctor.”

The expert added that regular self-examinations are key when it comes to checking for breast cancer.

She said to self-check around every two weeks or so when you’re not on your period.

Doctor Nighat added: “You’re looking in the mirror and you’re looking for changes in the size of the breast at all, nipple inversion, skin changes around the breast you might notice.

“Any thickening of the tissue, having a feel underneath the armpit as well because you’re looking for lumps.

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“That’s what you are feeling for – any new lumps in the breast. And having a feel underneath the clavicle bone as well.”

Checking yourself is especially important as the screening programme starts at 50 and ends at 70, Dr Nighat added.

Deidre is one of the thousands of women who got “missed” for their mammogram when they were about 70 years old due to an “error”.

She said: “I got a letter a couple years later, saying ‘You can ask for a mammogram if you want one’ and I looked online… and I thought ‘I’m too old to need one’.

“That was a big mistake to think that.

“What I want to say to women over 70, you’ve got a right to request a mammogram, so please request it.”

Deidre urged women to attend screenings when invited as well as request their mammograms.

She is now booked for an NHS surgery to remove the cancerous “cluster” this Saturday.

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