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By Karabo Motsiri Mokoena

Writer. Conversationalist. South African Mommy Blogger,Content Producer

Mom of 3 says she missed breast cancer lumps because she was too busy being a mom

'Be selfish and take care of yourself' is her advice to other moms. 

Claire Milling is a 40-year-old busy mom from Plymouth in England who was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer during the lockdown. According to Plymouth Herald, she discovered she has lumps during her pregnancy with her seven-month old Elliot. She also has a five-year-old son Sebastian, and a two-year-old daughter Olivia. 

During her pregnancy, she was taking care of two toddlers and preparing for having two under-two children. 

She shared a video on Facebook detailing her journey of finding the lumps on her breast and later learning that she has incurable cancer. She noticed a lump when she was three months postpartum, but accredited it to pregnancy changes. 

She is sharing this message to raise awareness for moms to learn to check themselves and “mentally shut down”. It’s not only concerning cancer but checking how your overall health is. 

Also Read: Self-care is not selfish: a must-read for busy moms

Clair is the kind of mom that showers for a few minutes “in and out”, or keeps her wee in because of fear of leaving the kids alone. 

“The irony in that now is I am going to leave the children without me forever,” she says. 

Her advise is this; you can never be too busy to take care of yourself, because that way, you are also taking care of your family. 

According to the Cancer Association of South Africa , early detection of cancer can save lives. Unfortunately for Clair, she detected cancer when it spread. In 2013, female cancer accounted for 1.7% of total deaths in South Africa. 

It’s important to check the below characteristics of your breast or underarm area;

  • Lumps
  • Texture changes
  • Thickening
  • Dimpling
  • Changes in shape or size of nipples or breasts
  • Tenderness
  • Discharge
  • Rash or swelling 
  • One breast suddenly being slightly larger than the other.

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