Mum reveals how 'angel' son discovered her breast cancer while breastfeeding
8 July 2019, 13:46
A mum has praised her 'guardian angel' son for discovering her breast cancer after refusing to feed from one side
A mum has revealed that her infant son discovered her breast cancer - after he refused to feed from her right nipple.
Joanne Carr, 37, revealed that she checked herself after having trouble feeding her son Dougie McInerney when he turned 14 months - as he suddenly became averted to one breast.
She found a pea-size lump on the breast, which was later found to be cancerous by medics.
Joanne, who is now cancer free, has praised her son for saving her life as she may never have found the lump without him.
She said: "I owe my life to him. It was a complete miracle. If I didn't have Dougie then I might never have found the lump.
"He saved my life, without a doubt. He's a little angel. I'd be lost without him - now he gets away with murder and I spoil him rotten."
"The doctor said it's very strange what Dougie did, but he must have known somehow. He was looking out for me.
"I know I wouldn't have checked if it wasn't for him [rejecting the breast]. It's remarkable when you think about it."
Dougie, who was born in April 2014 and is now five, was the final piece of the puzzle in Joanne's 'perfect little family'. She is also mum to Isla, 11.
Joanne revealed that everything was normal with Dougie's feeding routine until he was 14 months, when he stopped feeding from her right breast.
"He wasn't interested anymore and he refused to feed from the right breast," she explained. "I thought I might have a blocked duct or something."
She found a small lump after checking herself, and immediately booked to see her GP - where she was given antibiotics and told to come back if it didn't go away.
Joanne, who is a nurse, was later referred to Royal Liverpool Hospital. She added: "I was really worried by this point. My gut feeling was that something wasn't right and I started to think the lump wasn't normal."
It was confirmed in just four days that she had an aggressive form of cancer - invasive ductual cancer - which affects the milk ducts - after she had scans and a cell biopsy.
Joanne added: "I was diagnosed there and then," she continued. "They took me into a room and told me I had cancer. They said it was aggressive but treatable.
"I sat there and cried when I told my family. I was worried [my kids] would have to grow up without a mum. But I knew I had to stay strong for them."
She had eight rounds of chemotherapy, which caused her to lose all her hair, but luckily the lump continued to shrink - and doctors were able to remove the residual cancer in March 2018, before giving her the all-clear in April.
"I still think about how lucky I am," Joanne added. "I owe my life to Dougie and he means the world to me."