Mum says breastfed son ‘spotted cancer’

Mum says breastfed son ‘spotted cancer’
20 Feb

A mother says her baby son "saved her life" by helping her detect breast cancer when he refused to feed.

Sarah Boyle, 26, said at about six months old, Teddy suddenly "became very distressed" when she tried to feed from her right breast.

The Staffordshire mum said his continued behaviour convinced her to insist that a cyst which was found to be benign be re-scanned.

Mrs Boyle is being treated for grade two triple negative breast cancer.

There have been anecdotal reports that babies can pick up breast changes, but this has not been accepted as breast cancer sign by the medical profession.

Mrs Boyle said her son, who is nearly one, had taken "fantastically well" to breastfeeding but his behaviour changed last summer.

She tried feeding Teddy in various positions over several weeks and wondered if there was something wrong with his neck, but now believes milk from her right breast tasted different.

"He became very unhappy and even hit out. For an eight-month baby to push his mother away was really heartbreaking," she said.

Mrs Boyle was diagnosed with a benign cyst in her right breast in 2013 and said when she asked to be re-scanned was told not to worry.

However, as Teddy's behaviour persisted, she also noticed the cyst had become "more rigid" and painful and her breast had changed shape.

She went back to see a doctor and a scan and biopsy later confirmed cancer.

"I remember it was 11:55am on 16th November," she said.

Mrs Boyle is halfway through chemotherapy at Royal Stoke University Hospital, whose staff were "fantastic", she said.

The mother, who is to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction said Teddy, her husband and rest of her family were getting her through the rough times.

"Nobody can say for certain whether it was Teddy, but I know that if it wasn't for him then this time next year it could've been completely different if I'd listened to doctors, but instead I listened to Teddy.

"[It's] Because of him that I'm now being treated."

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