Pregnant woman, 29, has labor induced four weeks early after finding lump on right breast

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A 29-year-old woman gave birth four weeks earlier after scans suggested she had breast cancer.

Lindsey Gritton, of Gainesville, Georgia, was in week 34 of her pregnancy when a burning sensation erupted above her right armpit and chest. She also found a ‘marble-sized’ lump in the breast.

Doctors told her it was a blocked milk duct — like she had with her first pregnancy — and they’d seen it “a thousand” times, but she still demanded a scan.

When the results came back, medics came back and said there was now a “high chance” that she had cancer. She had entered labor a week later and then had more tests — which couldn’t be done during the pregnancy because of the radiation — that showed it was stage four breast cancer and had spread to her liver.

The mother of two is now on chemotherapy for four months and visits the hospital every three weeks for treatment. About 80 percent of the cancer is now gone.

Lindsey Gritton, from Gainseville, Georgia, photographed when she was eight weeks pregnant

She can be seen above at 25 weeks

She can be seen above at 25 weeks

Lindsey Gritton, of Gainseville, Georgia, is pictured above when she was eight (left) and 25 (right) weeks pregnant. She saw the cancer warning signs at week 34 and was induced a few weeks later

She has now been on chemotherapy every three weeks for four months and 80 percent of the cancer has now disappeared, doctors say

She has now been on chemotherapy every three weeks for four months and 80 percent of the cancer has now disappeared, doctors say

She has now been on chemotherapy every three weeks for four months and 80 percent of the cancer has now disappeared, doctors say

Doctors initially told her that the symptoms were likely caused by a blocked milk duct, as they were during her first pregnancy.  But Gritton didn't believe this was the case

Doctors initially told her that the symptoms were likely caused by a blocked milk duct, as they were during her first pregnancy.  But Gritton didn't believe this was the case

Doctors initially told her that the symptoms were likely caused by a blocked milk duct, as they were during her first pregnancy. But Gritton didn’t believe this was the case

Only about two percent of breast cancers are diagnosed each year in women under the age of 35, but when it is detected, it is usually discovered at a later stage and is much more difficult to treat.

Those whose close relatives have cancer, have had other breast problems in the past, or have received radiotherapy before are more at risk.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.

But cases are normally detected in women about 55 to 74 years old. It is rare for the cancer to be detected in younger age groups.

Symptoms of the cancer include the following:

  • New lump on the chest or under the arm;
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast;
  • Irritation or dimpling of the breast skin;
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or breast;
  • Retraction of the nipple or pain in the nipple area;
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood;
  • Any change in breast size or shape;
  • Pain in any part of the chest.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Gritton revealed that when symptoms started in April, the burning sensation would come and go for up to a week when it persisted.

Shortly after, she found a lump the size of a “small marble” on her right breast. But doctors initially dismissed her concerns, saying it was a blocked milk duct.

Gritton told the Insider: ‘[My doctor said]: “I’ve seen this a thousand times. I have so many people with this problem when they are pregnant”.

“And I just knew what a clogged duct felt like,” she said, “and so in the back of my mind I knew it wasn’t.

‘She [the doctor] didn’t even want to do an ultrasound. I just had to keep asking. I was like, “I really need an ultrasound because I’m really worried about it.”

Gritton initially took antibiotics to remove the lump and underwent a scan that revealed a ‘high risk’ of cancer.

She was then invited for a biopsy that confirmed a week later that she had invasive ductal carcinoma – the most common form of breast cancer.

A week later, the labor was induced to have scans, which was not possible when she was pregnant because of the radiation.

She was given a positron emission tomography (PET) scan — in which a small amount of radioactive tracers is injected into a vein that travels through the body but stops in areas where there are cancer cells, allowing doctors to see that the cancer has spread.

This is when doctors confirmed she had stage four breast cancer, or the most aggressive type.

Gritton said she revealed her diagnosis to encourage others to stand up for themselves when they think doctors are wrong.

She said, “If I hadn’t advocated for myself, I don’t even think I would be here today.

“Because from what they told me with my blood work and everything, my liver was already failing.”

About 280,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year — mostly in women between the ages of 50 and 70 — and the disease is responsible for 42,000 deaths each year.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) — which sets national medical guidelines — says women between the ages of 50 and 74 should be checked for cancer every two years.

Younger women say they should consider getting checked out if they have a higher risk of cancer.

Factors that increase the risk include a history of the disease or previous breast health problems.

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