As women, we need to have each others' backs. And boobs. That's why mother-of-two Jennifer Cordts is sharing her heartbreaking story as a warning to other women, after her own rare form of breast cancer went undiagnosed for 11 months, First Coast News reports.
Women are often taught to look for lumps as a warning sign for breast cancer. But for 46-year-old Cordts, her symptom was a splotchy red discoloring on one breast, like a sunburn:
In an interview with First Coast News, Cordts says she went and got a mammogram but it came back normal. There was no lump or tumor and doctors dismissed the problem, claiming her "bra was too small."
But after buying all new bras and taking an antibiotics, the red splotchiness didn't go away. So Cordts did some Googling. "IBC came up. Inflammatory Breast Cancer," she recalls. "It was the first thing that popped up."
She had a "bad feeling" and her instincts were right. Eleven months after her first mammogram, Cordts got a biopsy which confirmed that she had stage four Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). "It took my breath away," she says.
IBC is extremely rare and makes up one percent of all breast cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute, and it's often diagnosed too late.
This was a year and a half ago. Doctors gave Jennifer three-to-five years to live, according to her husband, Rob Cordts. "We're hoping for five, right?" he says.
Jennifer said she wanted to share her story in hopes of helping other women spot the symptoms earlier:
I really want this to educate. I really want someone to say 'Oh my gosh, I have redness in my breast. I better push past the mammogram and ask for some more tests.'