Woman, 22, Finds Blood On Her Bra From Bleeding Nipple After Thinking She Was 'Too Young For Cancer:' Now She's Opening Up On Instagram
- Roshni Kamta discovered she had triple-negative breast cancer with lymph node involvement at the age of 22 after finding blood in her bra.
- Kamta, who is now in remission after surgery and 33 rounds of radiation, is urging others to get their breasts checked and seek medical help if anything seems wrong.
- According to Dr Ann Partridge, an oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, there are approximately 11,000 women aged 40 and under diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the U.S.
“I didn’t think anything of it because of my age,” Kamta, now 26, told WJXT Channel 4. “A couple more weeks went by, towards the end of April, and I found blood in my bra.”Read More
Following a mammogram, a needle biopsy revealed the young woman had breast cancer. Now, years later, Kamta is in remission after surgery and 33 rounds of radiation. Kamta opens up about her experience on Instagram, where she hopes to spread breast cancer awareness.
“When I was diagnosed I was told, ‘1 in 8 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.’ I was angry that I was being told this statistic because I was about to turn 23 with no prior medical history, I couldn’t see myself in that statistic at this age,” Kamta wrote in an Instagram post in 2020. “Triple-negative affects pre-menopausal women but mammograms aren’t covered by insurance for women under the age of 40. We are feeling it on the first but what happens after you feel something and you are denied additional screening/scans or not taken seriously because of your age/ race/ sexual orientation/medical history etc..?”
In an effort to push for research, more accessible healthcare, and health equity, she continued, “Younger women are being diagnosed with breast cancer but insurance companies are denying us access to fertility preservation. Black women are being diagnosed at later stages due to a lack of access to care/ screening/ or even being listened to. Once you get diagnosed with cancer, you’re set for scans and follow-up appointments for pretty much the rest of your life. Then why does my out-of-pocket reset every year?! Especially when younger women are being diagnosed with Metastatic breast cancer.”
Breast Oncologist Hanna Irie, MD, PhD, told WJXT that Kamta was “definitely one of the youngest” patients she’s treated and wanted her to have minimal complications post-treatment. Kamta then decided to freeze her eggs to secure the possibility of having a family, something she couldn’t afford. However, with the help of a non-profit organization called The Chick Mission, she was able to follow through with saving her eggs.
Kamta, who has grown her hair back after losing it during treatment, is urging others to get checked. “Check your body and, you know, do your self-breast exams. And if there’s something wrong, tell your doctor,” she told WJXT.
Breast Cancer In Young Women
There are approximately 11,000 women aged 40 and under diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the U.S. says Dr Ann Partridge, an oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. That’s a small percentage of the 260,000 women diagnosed annually in this country.
But in some ways, a diagnosis for a younger woman can often be even more devastating because, as Dr Partridge says, the cancer is likely to be a more aggressive form of the disease and also at an advanced stage, because screening for younger women is not standard.
Getting To Know Your Breasts
Breast self-examination is one of the many areas in breast cancer where a woman needs to decide between what makes sense for her and what the recommended guidelines say. If doing breast self-exams is something that works for you, and your doctor agrees, then you should do it.
However, it’s important to note that the American Cancer Society says there’s no clear benefit from breast self-examination. Some organizations, including Breastcancer.org, disagree and recommend regular breast examination, although an age to start is not specified.
Getting to know how your breasts look and feel may be one of the best ways to recognize when something is not quite right. “When we think about breast cancer prevention and awareness, the first step is that women need to feel comfortable with their breast and know what their breasts feel like normally,” says Dr. Elizabeth Comen, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and an advisor to SurvivorNet. Here’s how, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation:
- While standing straight in front of a mirror, place your hands on your hips and look at your breasts for any swelling, bulging, changes in shape of breast or nipple (inverted), redness, rashes, or any fluid leaking. Then do the same with your arms in the air.
- Next, while lying down, use your right hand to examine your left breast and vice versa, while using your first three fingers to apply pressure. Ensure you cover the entire breast area, from your collarbone to below your ribcage and from your armpit to your cleavage area. Do the same self-exam standing or sitting up. Be sure to use light to medium pressure for the middle breast area and firmer pressure when feeling deep breast tissue.
Once you get the hang of it, Dr. Comen recommends you do it once a month – after your period. However, it should be emphasized that breast self-examination is NOT a replacement for mammography.
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff