When it comes to checking our breasts, the vast majority of us search for lumps, dimpling or changes in our nipples, but how many of us stop to consider the potential implications of a newly formed freckle?
Aware that countless women would likely overlook the appearance of a freckle, Rebecca Hockaday is determined to highlight the importance of considering freckle formation when checking your breasts.
Speaking to Today, Rebecca recalled thinking little of the newly-formed freckle, saying: "I thought, OK, a freckle on my chest. I’ve been out in the sun, no big deal."
However, when more freckles began to appear on her chest, Rebecca made the decision to seek the advice of a dermatologist. but remained confident the freckles were little to worry about and was understandably devastated to learn she had inflammatory breast cancer which had already spread to her lymph nodes.
"Honestly, I thought they were sun spots. I thought they were going to say 'just your skin ageing," she said. “Never in a million years did I think, OK, this is going to be cancer."
It's five years on from Rebecca's treatement which saw her undergo 16 weeks of chemotherapy, the removal of both her breasts and regular radiation treatment, but she is happily cancer-free.
Rebecca, who was 35 when she was diagnosed, understands how innocuous a freckle might seem to most women, and is determined to educate women on the subject.
"You just do not think that something (that looks) so innocent can turn out this way. I had no pain, I had no symptoms,” she said. If I can keep anybody else from going through what I went through, it would mean the world to me."
"I hope that myself or anybody else who has gone through this can educate and raise awareness because moms tend to put ourselves last and we really need to put ourselves first."
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