Experiencing changes in your breasts during pregnancy is to be expected, so when April Addison felt a small, hard knot in her breast near her nipple, she chalked it up to a clogged milk duct since her breast milk was coming in. Unfourtanetly, it turned out to be something much worst.
Toward the end of her pregnancy, the lump suddenly started to hurt, then the pain disappeared. Concerned, Addison told her obstetrician, during her 39-week check-up. She was referred to another doctor for a breast ultrasound to take a closer look at the lump.
“She said, you know, we see some lymph nodes that look abnormal, so we need to do a biopsy,” Addison recalls. “So, 39 weeks pregnant, I get a biopsy done.”
“I started crying, Addison adds. “Being an oncology nurse, I’m like, ‘Oh goodness, I have no family history of breast cancer. So what could possibly be going on?'”
The confusion is something that her oncologist says is understandable.
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“With breast cancers, it can be really hard during pregnancy, because there are so many changes that are happening in your breast that you just have a hard time knowing, is this normal or not normal,” her oncologist Dr. Amelia Zelnak, the president of Atlanta Cancer Care says.
Addison gave birth to her son, Ashton on June 27, 2022 by caesarian section. The next day, the 32-year-old was officially diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.
“I was, you know, hurt,” Addison says. “I was confused. I felt like, man, I had been given a bad hand. I’m like, ‘Why is this happening to me, you know, right now?'”
While she was in the hospital, she had her first mammogram and breast MRI where she and her doctor discussed