Shakti Dalal’s newborn baby girl was acting strangely during breastfeeding. The little one did not want to nurse from the mother’s left breast. The veteran and mom of three found it strange.
She was producing equal milk from both breasts. Then she noticed something odd — there was a lump in her left underarm.
“I developed a mass in my underarm,” she said in 2015. “I wanted to get it checked. Everyone said it was a milk duct, but it kept getting bigger.”
Shakti went to Texas Oncology-Houston Memorial City hospital, where it was determined she had breast cancer that spread to four of her lymph nodes.
“I had a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy all in the same day,” she said. “It turned out to be breast cancer.”
She believes if her newborn hadn’t resisted her left breast, she may have waited too long to notice the lump. Doctors say it is easy for breastfeeding mothers to miss cancer. Although it only affects three percent of nursing moms, lumps can easily be hidden because of the engorged milk ducts.
Shakti started chemotherapy the week after she got the results. She remained positive through her battle with cancer and beat it.
“If you do have to go on a journey like this, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you have to believe that,” she said.
Fortunately, Shakti’s baby girl had a sixth sense for cancer detection.
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