A Nottingham woman with a rare form of breast cancer which typically has no tumour is warning others to check themselves regularly.
Wendy Yilmaz, from Mapperley, was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in June 2013. She was told the disease is at stage four – meaning it had spread to other areas of the body.
She is still fighting the disease after chemotherapy, a mastectomy and radiotherapy.
Inflammatory breast cancer is rare and difficult to spot because it often does not form as an obvious lump or tumour.
Fewer than one in 10,000 breast cancers diagnosed are inflammatory breast cancer.
Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer;
• Breast swelling, which one breast is suddenly larger than the other
• Breast that feels warm to touch and may look infected
• Itching or shooting pain
• A dimpling of the breast skin that looks like an orange peel (peau d’orange)
• Thickening of the skin
• Flattened or discoloured nipple
• Swelling in underarm or only on one side of neck
• Might feel lump, however lumps are not common
“The message I want to get out is check, check and check again,” she said.
“If there’s any sign of any abnormality in your breast, just go to your GP straight away.
“If you don’t get what you are looking for from your GP, because it’s hard for them too to detect it, just demand a consultancy appointment, it’s worth taking that extra precaution.
“The way I get through it is if I can help one person detect breast cancer early then everything is worthwhile. It’s such a battle on your own that if you can save someone going through the same thing, through detection early, then that’s the best use I can make of my time right now.”
Wendy has inspired other women to raise money for the charity Inflammatory Breast Cancer Network UK.
Around 45 people took part in a two-and-a-half hour Zumbathon at Epperstone Village Hall at the weekend, which raised more than £1,000.