Mum's breastfeeding pain dismissed but was warning of cervical cancer
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer? Could pain the breast when nursing be one of them?
In a heartbreaking incident, 38-year-old mum Louise Gleadell succumbed to cervical cancer on 31st March after putting up a brave fight. Louise was a mum to three gorgeous boys, Joe (12 years), Mateo (10 years) and Jude (22 months). Her complaints about pain in breast during nursing were ignored initially as a normal breastfeeding issue. But it turned out to be a symptom of cancer of the cervix.
Louise had informed her caregivers about the pain in breast during nursing
In April 2017 Louise shared on her Facebook page that when her youngest son, Jude, was five months old, she visited her doctor. At that time she had talked to them about various symptoms, including the pain in breast during nursing.
The doctors pacified her then as they believed the pain was just linked to breastfeeding. At the most, according to them, it could be because Louise had a baby after so long.
But after a couple of months, when her son was nine months old, she went for private tests. A scan and some other tests revealed that Louise was suffering from stage 2B cervical cancer.
A mum’s struggle to live for her little ones
Louise was heartbroken as she couldn’t stop thinking about her boys. But, in some seemingly heartening news, she got to know from the doctors that her condition was curable. She was advised a 12-week-long treatment of chemotherapy and radiation. With the hope that she could get well and live normally with her family, Louise started the harsh treatment.
But unfortunately, she soon noticed a lump in her neck. She underwent more tests and found that the cancer had spread, and now, it was incurable. But she could get palliative care.
Determined to live for her kids, Louise decided to give it her all. She shared in her post on Facebook that according to statistics, chances of survival in a cervical cancer case are rather bleak. But this strong-willed mother was not going to stop at anything. She underwent another three weeks of radiotherapy treatment.
Her condition kept getting worse
Making things difficult for Louise, she also developed a tumour. In January 2017, she suffered a haemorrhage and had to go through an emergency embolisation. Two weeks later she started bleeding and that revealed the failure of embolisation. Chemotherapy had to be avoided because of bleeding. And to add to her woes, she suffered kidney failure and had a nephrostomy.
Louise shared that she had been finding out about private care options. She decided to go to Hallwang clinic in Germany. And as the treatment was quite expensive she was raising funds for her treatment through her Facebook page.
Ignored pain in breast during nursing eventually led to Louise’s death
Despite all these efforts, Louise succumbed to the cancer on 31 March 2018. Here’s what her loved ones posted to her Facebook page.
Pain in breast during nursing: What should you keep in mind?
Mum, if you also have a similar problem of pain in breast during nursing, do not ignore it. Here are a few things that you should remember.
Is pain in breast during nursing a normal phenomena?
- Mild discomfort for 30 to 60 seconds when your baby is properly latched on is normal. This happens mainly when the milk is getting sucked into your baby’s mouth from the nipple and areola. After that initial twinge, it should ease out. In case the pain lingers on, it’s best to consult your doctor.
- If your baby has not latched on properly (just sucking on the nipple), then you could feel pain. A wrong latch can also lead to sore and cracked nipples. Do seek advice from your doctor or lactation consultant in such cases.
- Blocked ducts or mastitis could also result in a fair bit of pain. If you notice a red lump or reddish area on your breast, please see your doctor.