Erin Smith Chieze was diagnosed with stage-four metastatic breast cancer in January 2016 – a diagnosis that, she says, only came about after discovering what breast cancer looks like as well as feels like.
“In December of 2015 when I saw an indentation that looked like one of those pictures, I instantly knew I had breast cancer,” she wrote.
“I tried to feel for a tumour, but my tumour was non-palpable. I was diagnosed with breast cancer five days later and with stage-4 the following month. A heart did nothing for awareness. 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.”
“Without having seen a picture randomly with real information, I wouldn’t have known what to look for.”
So, what do the experts think of the lemon breast cancer test?
Dr Dasha Fielder of Sapphire Family Medical Practice in Bondi Junction says that while it’s still important to get regular breast exams by a medical professional, this test does raise awareness about the many forms breast cancer can come in.
“Lemons shown on the picture do resemble some of the changes seen and I think are a good reminder for women to check their breasts and pick up a change,” she says.
“By no means does that picture replace an appointment with a doctor, however, and equally should not be used as a diagnostic tool.”
“What is important, I think, is for a woman to know what their breast normally looks like and to notice any change: this can be in shape of breast or nipple, symmetry, size, pain or discharge.”
“The message should be that all women must check their breasts every three months and if they notice a change not to wait but to make an appointment with their family doctor for breast examination.”
“Sometimes no change in breast is seen at all and unless you feel the breast you will never find a problem, therefore relying purely on the way the breast looks is not enough.”