A young woman in New Zealand has opened up about how she detected her breast cancer when her boyfriend was spooning her.
The NZ Herald reports that Amber Arkell was just 26 years old when her boyfriend found the lump.
“We were spooning. I’m not a large-breasted woman and I was on my left side and Kieran was spooning behind me and he had a handful of my right breast,” she said.
“He was like ‘What’s that?’ and it’s a bit of a heart-sinking moment, when you reach round and feel something.”
“There was nothing we could do. I’m quite realistic when it comes to things I can and can’t control and the reality was that I couldn’t control anything that night, so I did my best to leave it and go to sleep.”
When she got the lump checked, doctors found that she had Grade 2 cancer, which was later updated to Grade 3 as the cancer was more aggressive than they first thought.
She ended up going through chemotherapy, and after six months of treatment and a double mastectomy, she is now cancer-free.
She wrote about her journey on her blog, When things went tits up, and she is raising awareness about checking yourself for breast cancer.
She told the NZ Herald, “It was very natural to me to want to openly share because once we did find out that I had breast cancer ... I knew that it was a very rare thing to have had happen, but I was very concerned that at 26 years of age I was not aware that I should be doing self-examinations from the age of 20. I had no clue.”
She is using her experience to inform others, particularly women under 40, about what they need to do for early detection.