We all know how important it is to check our breasts regularly for lumps and bumps, but now one cancer patient has shared a "little trick" that she hopes could help save more lives.
In a Facebook post with the hashtag #LaidBackLumps, 27-year-old Hayley Browning from England, who has breast cancer, shared the method that allowed her to spot her own lump: checking her breasts while lying down. Neither she nor her doctor were able to detect the bump while she was standing.
The 27-year-old revealed that she noticed the lump while lying down in bed, but it "completely disappeared" when she checked standing up.
Noting that women are often told to check their breasts in the shower, Browning hopes that her method could help more cancer victims spot issues earlier on.
Browning was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few weeks ago, but her potentially life-saving post has been shared more than 150,000 times on Facebook.
"I'm hoping to share a little trick of mine with as many people as possible, which could potentially help save someone's life," she wrote.
In an interview with The Sun Online, Browning explained how shocked and devastated she was by her diagnosis.
"I was with my Mum and Dad when I went to the hospital for my biopsy results, and never in a million years did I think that the doctor would say those words," she said. "My Mum held my hand; we were all in complete shock and broke down in tears. The doctor very quickly then said it was treatable, so that made it a little bit easier to accept."
Browning has now had a lumpectomy and is about to begin five months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She says she's "completely overwhelmed" by the response to her Facebook post.
"I shared my story on Facebook because I had always read advice that you should check for lumps in the shower, but mine couldn't be felt standing up at all," she said. "I felt it was important to share my learning of also feeling for lumps lying down, as this helped me find my lump early enough for it to be treatable."
Browning hopes her post will help others detect lumps in their breasts.
"Together, even if we have helped just one other person in some way, then it's all been worth doing, in my opinion," she said. "Initially, I only told my friends and family about lying down whilst checking, and they also weren't aware of this and were very thankful for me sharing my learning... I'm no expert in lumps, but I just want to encourage everyone to consult your doctor as soon as you feel something you are unsure of. Just don't delay booking that appointment."
"It's important for women to get to know their breasts, and to talk to a doctor if they notice any unusual or persistent changes," Jana Witt, PhD, of Cancer Research UK told theDaily Mail. "There's no need to check them regularly in a set way or at a set time; just have a look and a feel every now and then and get to know what's normal for you."