West Yorkshire Police officer catches breast cancer early - thanks to her body armour

As a police officer, your body armour is there to protect you and potentially save your life.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 18:49 pm
Sam (inset) has said her breast cancer was caught early thanks to her police body armour. Picture: PA/Twitter

But for one West Yorkshire officer, it has ended up saving her life in a very different way.

A Wakefield-based Pc has spoken of her relief after the insidious tumour was caught in the nick of time, leading to a diagnosis of breast cancer.

Pc Samantha Woods said there were no warning signs for the cancer, and that she would "never have known" if it weren't for the tight-fitting high-vis body armour which squeezes your torso.

PC Woods is now calling on men and women to check their breasts, highlighting that the disease can affect people of all ages.

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She said: "Since around February every time I put my body armour on I got like an achy feeling. It wasn't all the time, mainly just when I wore my body armour.

"I even asked one of my sergeants if I could get permission to order a new one.

"Then on my birthday I went to Krakow with friends and I mentioned it and they said to get it checked out 'just in case' .

"I don't like making a fuss and I hate going to the doctors. But I had also seen the programme of the celebs doing their thing for breast cancer too.

"So I booked and appointment and it went from there."

Writing on Twitter about her experience, she said: "Not the easiest of posts, but this is me now waiting for surgery.

"It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks having been told I have Breast Cancer. PLEASE PLEASE check your breasts! If there is anything I gain from this post, it's that one person who checks.

"At 33 it's not something I expected to hear. But it's caught early which is thanks to my body armour! I would never have known if it wasn't for that.

"No lumps, no nothing. So if you have any concerns, please get checked out".

How do I check my breasts?

Charity Breast Cancer Care list several signs to be wary of which may indicate breast cancer.

Things to look out for include a change in shape or size, lumps, changes in skin texture such as dimples, or pain in your breast.

Other signs to be wary of are nipples changing or getting a rash, or nipples that have become inverted or are secreting liquid. Swelling around the armpit area is also an early sign.

You can find out more about symptoms and signs of breast cancer here.