Breast cancer symptoms you shouldn’t ignore as Samantha Womack ‘didn’t find a lump’

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer faced by women globally. In the UK, one woman is diagnosed with the disease every 10 minutes.

This equates to roughly 55,000 women being diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

What makes breast cancer so dangerous is that it does not always present any obvious symptoms, as was the case with EastEnders actress Samantha Womack.

In an interview with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, the actress stressed the importance of having regular check-ups as she did not suffer from any obvious symptoms.

“It was really incredible because I didn’t find a lump, I didn’t feel unwell,” she explained.

“There had been a lot of illness around our friends and family, and I just thought I’d get a random check and I had an ultrasound, and it showed a little shadow – at that point it could be anything, a cyst… then I had further investigations and then that diagnosis.”

When asked how she was feeling currently by the duo, Samantha replied: “I’m really good. I was diagnosed three, four months ago with breast cancer.”

Samantha was diagnosed with breast cancer in August this year and further explained her treatment since then.

“I was lucky, it was less than two centimetres. I had a lumpectomy, which is just a piece of tissue removed and five lymph nodes.

“The mad thing about cancer, when you have it, you understand there are so many different roads, different diagnoses, it is a terrifying world.

“It’s terrifying at the beginning but if there was ever a time to have it, there are so many new treatments now that are changing the face of cancer, it’s amazing.”

Samantha underwent a procedure last month to remove abnormal breast tissue and later chemotherapy. She had a lumpectomy and lymph node removed.

The actress has shared her immense gratitude in an Instagram post after numerous people have reached out since she shared her breast cancer diagnosis.

“I am very humbled by the fact everyone has reached out, so I’ll keep you posted,” she said.

“Just a hug thank you and sending you all lots of love.”

Asymptomatic breast cancer

Breast cancer can fall into two groups – symptomatic or asymptomatic.

This makes it far more difficult for breast cancer patients to know of their risk.

“Breast cancer can also be asymptomatic wherein it shows no signs or symptoms making it difficult for the person to identify,” said Dr Ankit Nehra, consultant medical oncologist.

“Hence, it is very important for women to do regular cancer screenings after a certain age, to ensure early diagnosis, better survival rate and lower the chances of intensive treatments.”

Common symptoms of breast cancer
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump in the breast. But it’s important to remember not all lumps are cancerous.

Here are the most common symptoms of breast cancer to be aware of:

New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit)
Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast
Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
Pain in any area of the breast
You should see a GP if you notice any of these symptoms.