Hi, my name is Jo Browne and I’m telling my story to raise awareness of Invasive Lobular Cancer #ILC in Ireland with Lobular Ireland.
I was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer on July 16th 2020 aged 46. I didn’t have any of the common risk factors nor was there any history of cancer in my family.
Mine was what the medical professionals call an ‘incidental finding’. Overnight my breast literally went hard. This hardened area turned out to be just cysts, however a subsequent mammogram found another suspicious area of calcification. An ultrasound and two biopsies later I was diagnosed with DCIS and Stage 2b ILC, with 3 lymphnodes affected and a possible ogliometastases to a rib. What followed was a whirlwind of scans, surgeries, chemo and radiotherapy finishing with SBRT in August 2021. I’m on Tamoxifen for the foreseeable future with various ongoing scans and appointments. Walking and yoga, along with support from an amazing family and friends, kept me and continues to keep me sane!
I learned at some point on this journey that I have dense breasts which is an independent risk factor for breast cancer. This can also prevent small masses from being detected by mammogram alone.
I had never felt fitter or healthier at the time of my Diagnosis
My only symptom was an itching or a tingling in my breast.
Breast cancer isn’t always just a lump. Know your own body. Be vigilant.