Mom, 26, dies of breast cancer after lump was mistaken for a blocked milk duct

Sophie Collins, from Maidstone in Kent, went to her GP after finding a lump in her breast, but her doctor sent her away saying it must be a blocked milk duct related to her pregnancy.

Sophie's brother Matthew wanted to share his story to help other young women.
Sophie’s brother Matthew, right, wanted to share his story to help other young women.

A young mother has died of breast cancer after the lump she showed doctors was dismissed as a blocked milk duct.

Sophie Collins, from Maidstone in Kent, was just 26 when she died in January from an aggressive form of breast cancer that spread throughout her body.

The single mother was diagnosed 13 months earlier, when she was 10 weeks pregnant with her second child.

In the last months of her life, Sophie tried to raise awareness and push young women to consider the possibility that breast cancer affected them too.

And now taking up the cause, his grieving brother Matthew is telling his story in the hope that his legacy will save others from a similar fate.

The cancer spread throughout his body.


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Sophie Collins found a lump in her breast when she was 10 weeks pregnant with her second child


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Matthew told the Sun: “Sophie was a wonderful person. Cheerful, kind and brave. She was so funny and she could make me cry with laughter.

“Growing up, we were always inseparable. But after our father died of lymphoma cancer, when I was 14 and she was 10, that shared experience of losing a parent at a young age brought us even closer than ever before.”

Sophie first noticed something wasn’t right after finding a lump in her left breast when she left the bathroom.

After discussing it with her family, she went to see her GP, who “dismissed the lump as simply a blocked milk duct” because she was a week pregnant with her second daughter.

When the lump began to grow, Sophie went to get a second opinion from a specialist.


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The doctor “dismissed her with the advice to massage it with warm water,” Matthew said.

But treatment didn’t help, and as the lump continued to grow, Sophie insisted on getting a second opinion from a breast specialist.

At this appointment, she was diagnosed with stage three triple negative breast cancer, which is generally considered the most aggressive form of the disease.

Sophie’s left breast was removed in January 2021, but biopsies taken after surgery revealed that it had spread to nearby lymph nodes.

By March of that year and as her second child’s full term approached, she began chemotherapy.

After giving birth to baby Delilah on April 14, a scan showed the cancer had spread further, and tumors were found on her collarbone, Matthew said.

It was then that the doctors told Sophie that her cancer was incurable and terminal.

Sophie’s two daughters now live with their parents.


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Sophie, who worked as a cleaner and at a Travelodge, posted updates about her trip on social media, initially as a way to keep loved ones informed about how she was doing.

It wasn’t long before other young women approached her for advice after finding their own lumps.

The young mother drew her strength from her two daughters, Daisy and Delilah, Matthew said.

“All she wanted was more time with her babies. She knew what she wanted and she wasn’t ready to settle,” she told The Sun.

Sophie went through rounds of grueling chemotherapy, hoping it would slow the disease.

But the cancer spread brutally throughout her body, attaching itself to her spine, hips, back and chest.

Three weeks after finishing chemotherapy in September, doctors delivered the devastating news that the treatment hadn’t worked.

Daisy, now three years old, and her little sister Delilah, now eight months old, live with their estranged parents.

Speaking of the girls’ tragic loss, Matthew said: “Our hearts are breaking for Sophie’s girls. They have been robbed of a mum who would do anything for them. But they should be so proud of her.”

“Since Sophie passed away, so many people have messaged us to say they were following her posts, commenting on how lovely and brave she was. A true fighter. And my God, she fought until her last breath.

“We are a united family. Sophie’s death leaves a big empty space in our hearts. But we are very proud of the wonderful woman that she was.

“Although her time and energy were limited and precious, she gave it to support and mentor other young women. That says everything about her.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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