Young mum’s warning after ‘breastfeeding feeling’ led to cancer diagnosis

A woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33 has shared her story in a bid to show that ‘it’s not just an older person’s disease’. Laura Franklin initially put her unusual symptoms down to hormones.

But after feeling a sharp pain in her breast, she went to her doctor. Just a few weeks later, she was diagnosed with the disease.

The mum-of-one from Chorlton is now undergoing six rounds of chemotherapy at The Christie hospital and will need further radiotherapy. She is trying to stay positive after doctors told her the cancer had been caught early.

READMORE: Student who thought she had freshers’ flu given devastating diagnosis

The print designer now wants to share her symptoms and story in the hope of raising awareness and to encourage other young people to check themselves.

Laura first started having symptoms in July last year. She had previously breastfed her little girl Luna – who is now two and a half – for nine months, but the symptoms started around 15 months later. At around the time of her period, she noticed some milky discharge from her breasts.

Laura pictured with her husband Jake

She said: “I thought it was a bit strange, it was the same sort of feeling as when you’re about to breastfeed. I just didn’t really think anything of it as it was around my period time.”

Laura said this happened twice over the next two months. She then realized something ‘was n’t quite right’ after feeling a sharp pain shooting across her right breast of her as she was sitting watching TV one day.

This kept happening over the course of the week and was becoming more painful, so Laura called her GP and an appointment was made for her to go straight away. At this point, she was told the symptoms could be due to hormonal changes but she was referred to the breast cancer clinic at the Nightingale Center at Wythenshawe Hospital ‘to be on the safe side’.

Laura said she remained positive as she didn’t have a lump, but, the night before she was due to go to the clinic, she could feel one in her right breast. She was given an ultrasound and biopsy, then, a week later, a consultant told her they had found a 9mm cancer.

Laura said she wants to keep positive

Laura had biopsies on her lymph nodes too, which doctors also found had cancer in them. “Me and my husband were both just a bit shell-shocked,” she said. “Even though I did feel there was something wrong it was still a massive shock to be told those words.”

Laura had surgery in January then underwent fertility treatment to give her and her husband Jake, 35, the best chance of expanding their family in the future. She says the fertility treatment helped ‘take a massive weight off her mind de ella’ and made her realize how lucky she was to live near to facilities like St Mary’s Hospital.

Laura at The Christie Hospital with husband Jake

Laura then went back to Wythenshawe Hospital, where doctors told her that the surgery to remove the lump in the breast and lymph nodes had been a success. But, because of the cancer found in the lymph nodes, chemotherapy would be needed next.

“When they said it’s going to be chemotherapy it felt like I had been diagnosed all over again, surgery is something that lots of people go though but having chemotherapy is something that only people with cancer have. That was really scary,” she said.

Laura will now have to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy. She has had one so far and will have them every three weeks. She will then have targeted radiotherapy on her breast and lymph nodes.

Laura wearing a cold cap during her first round of chemotherapy

She has read books to her daughter Luna to explain that she is poorly but said that overall, she feels positive. Doctors have said that the cancer has been caught early, so treatment should be successful.

Laura has now set up an Instagram page to document her journey. She has also decided to set up a fundraising page to raise money for CoppaFeel! – a breast cancer awareness charity.

She says it’s because of charities like CoppaFeel! that she took her initial symptoms seriously. “I think because I got the symptoms around my period, I could have just thought it was hormonal changes or dismiss it or ignore it for a lot longer,” she said.

“But I just want to say it does affect young people, it’s not an old persons disease, there are different symptoms and it’s not just the lump.” You can donate to Laura’s fundraising page here. Her Instagram page of her can be found here.

Read more of today’s top stories here.

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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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