Early Signs of Breast Cancer Perfectly Illustrated in Photo of Lemons – Prevention Article
This article was written by Leah Groth and published on Prevention on Oct 1, 2018. We have updated the images and links in this article to reflect organizational changes. All content has remained the same.
Being able to spot these breast cancer symptoms could save your life.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means you are going to see a lot of pink ribbons, hear compelling stories from breast cancer survivors and be reminded about the importance of regular self-exams and screenings with your doctor. All extremely important.
But if there is one thing you absolutely need to absorb over these next 31 days, it is a photo from the Know Your Lemons Campaign. Titled What Breast Cancer Looks & Feels Like, it describes and depicts just that — with the help of a dozen lemons. And every woman should look at it, share it with their friends and memorize it, because it could seriously save someone’s life from breast cancer.
The photo, created by Corrine Ellsworth Beaumont of the nonprofit Know Your Lemons Foundation, not only physically shows some of the lesser known physical signs of breast cancer — such as bumps, skin erosions and dimpling — but also details the symptoms. These include heat, invisible lumps, and thick masses.
Back in 2017 it went viral on social media, courtesy of breast cancer survivor Erin Smith Chieze. Her post, shared over 47,000 times, not only features the image but also tells her own breast cancer diagnosis story. She decided to share it because she noticed that while lots of people were posting cute pictures of hearts to raise awareness for the disease, nobody was really describing what breast cancer can look like. Which can literally be life-saving.
“Someone once posted a picture on Facebook of what breast cancer can look like. Not feel, but look like,” she explained. “In December of 2015 when I saw an indentation that looked like one of those pictures, I instantly knew I had breast cancer. I tried to feel for a tumor, but my tumor was non palpable.”
Within five days she was diagnosed with cancer and the following month learned she was in stage four. “A heart did nothing for awareness,” she continued. “I knew what breast cancer was. I knew all about self exams, but a picture of what to look for keyed me into knowing I had a terminal disease.”
She continues to emphasize the importance of giving real information instead of cute hearts. “Without having seen a picture randomly with real information, I wouldn’t have known what to look for,” she writes. “Do us a favor, stop playing games with my life and start truly helping people. Metastatic breast cancer treatment research and real awareness.”
So if you decide to share just one post this month to raise breast cancer awareness, consider this one. It could save somebody’s life. Better yet: Donate to Know Your Lemons Foundation so it can continue spreading its mission to educate the world about breast cancer.