A mother-of-two has shared an image of a rare breast cancer symptom to raise awareness of the lesser-known condition.
After noticing a dark pink patch of skin on her breast, Jennifer Cordts visited her doctor, who dismissed it as a simple skin rash. ‘I was told, crazy enough, that my bra was too small,’ she told U.S news network First Coast News in an exclusive segment earlier this week.
She was prescribed an antibiotic and bought different sized bras, as she had been advised by medical professionals, but the strange rash persisted, so one night when everyone was in bed, Jennifer looked up her symptoms online.
‘IBC came up. Inflammatory Breast Cancer. It was the first thing that popped up, and I was terrified. I had a bad feeling.’
Image: Imgur/Jennifer Cordts
Jennifer posted a picture of her rash on Reddit to highlight the surprising symptom
Welling up on camera, Jennifer explained how everything she went on to read online pointed to one conclusion: that nobody survived this silent form of breast cancer.
Because of her previous misdiagnoses, Jennifer was now suffering from stage four cancer, and following an official medical diagnosis was given just three to five years to live. Currently, treatment is having an effect, and her family is hoping for the full five years.
Of the failure of doctors to recognise her symptoms, Jennifer said: ‘I wouldn’t be truthful to you or anybody else if I didn’t say I was sad. And maybe a little mad. But mostly sad.’
Her husband, Rob, added: ‘You’re trying to stay positive for the kids and the wife but I cry every day.’
To deal with the anxiety and the uncertainty, Jennifer regularly visits a clinical psychologist who helps her process her feelings. Dr. Shannon Poppito points out that IBC is so rare (accounting for just 1% of all breast cancers), often healthcare professionals won’t recognise it and will be determined to point to something else as the cause – most commonly a skin rash, as the visible symptoms are so similar.
‘The head and the heart is 90 percent of the battle [of terminal breast cancer]’ says Dr. Poppito, ‘because she’s carrying around with her the awareness that she will die from this cancer.’
However, despite her own tragic story, Jennifer and her family are keen to share it so as to educate others on the threat of IPC, and for other women to push for tests if they’re concerned.
‘I’m not necessarily afraid to die but I’m very afraid to say goodbye,’ she concluded.