LITHA Georgiades says her life was saved by her fake boobs after they pushed a cancerous lump to the surface, seven years after they were implanted.
Litha, mum to Edward, 14, was in the shower in 2011 when she felt a lump in her left breast. But after visiting her GP she was told it was nothing to worry about.
A year later she noticed the lump had grown, and returned to her GP, who ordered an ultrasound and biopsy.
Three weeks later she was diagnosed with cancer.
Litha, 49, from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, says: “I absolutely loved my implants from the moment I got them. They looked amazing and I had no problems with them at all.
“Seven years later I was in the shower when I suddenly felt this hard lump on my left breast. I’d never felt anything like it before.
“But it wasn’t until a year later that I was diagnosed with cancer. I felt absolutely devastated. Fear consumed me and I just thought I was going to die.
“But I do feel so grateful that my implant had pushed the tumour upwards, otherwise I may never have known it was there.
“I have no family history of cancer and I had no pain or sensations from my left breast so the breast implant really did save my life.’’
Dental nurse Litha decided to have implants in 2004, after losing some weight, and she went from a C to an F cup.
After finding the lump she says: “I went to the doctor straight away but this was around the time when all the PIP implants were being talked about.
“My doctor examined my breasts with her hands then dismissed the lump as a result of my implant.
“I’d already had the implants for years so I did think it was strange that the lump would appear now if it was because of them, but the doctor seemed so certain that I just trusted her.”
In May 2012 Litha discovered she had breast cancer which had spread to her sentinel lymph node. Her doctor explained that the type of lump that Litha had usually grows to the back of the breast.
But her implant had forced it to the surface — otherwise it could have gone unnoticed for far longer and spread further.
But she still needed a mastectomy, and says: “Finding out I had cancer, that it had already spread and that I’d need a mastectomy all in the same appointment was very difficult.
“I’d gone to the hospital for the results of my test on my own because I was sure that everything would be fine.
“It was so surreal, I didn’t know who to call — I didn’t want to ruin anybody’s day.
“First I phoned my son’s dad Ian, who I was no longer with, and then a few of my friends who had known I was going to get my results that day. Then I rang my mum.
“I felt like I’d been given a death sentence, and all I could think about was Edward and how I wanted to see him grow up and get married and I’d become a grandma to his kids.”
In July 2012, Litha had a mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. But five years later she found another lump in her left armpit. A biopsy and scan showed the cancer had spread to her armpit, neck and spine.
She says: “Hearing it had come back was devastating. I had five blasts of radiotherapy on my neck which made me feel so sick and made swallowing really difficult. They started me on oestrogen blockers to stop the cancer spreading, but I was having to go to the hospital every month for these painful injections in my belly so in March 2018 I opted to have my ovaries removed.
“It was bittersweet, as it would be for any woman, but I could not deal with the injections every month for the rest of my life.”
Sadly, scans earlier this year showed the cancer has now spread to Litha’s femur and liver and she is due to start chemotherapy next month.
Litha says: “Edward knows I may be unwell sometimes, but I’ve never wanted to sit him down with his dad and cry over it because I know that would scare him.
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“He loves science, so he’ll ask me things like why am I going to the hospital, and I’ll just explain that there’s something bad in my body that the doctor needs to take out, and he pretty much accepts that.
“Edward’s dad and I split up in 2010, but he’s been great throughout all of this and he’s an amazing dad.
“I’m not giving up without a fight. I feel so grateful that I did make the choice to have breast implants because I feel that without them, I may never have felt the lump in my breast and I may never have known I had cancer.”
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