A MUM of two who went to the doctors after having nightmares about dying was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Carolann Bruce, 51, said her nightmares went on for nearly a year and left her terrified to go to sleep.
One included a shadowy figure who took her to a hospital where she was a patient who kept dying of cancer.
When she woke she felt a lump on her breast, and booked an appointment at a private hospital.
A scan and biopsy revealed she had Stage 2 breast cancer and she had a life-saving mastectomy.
Carolann, a former nurse of Stockport, Greater Manchester, has not had a nightmare since.
She said: “These dreams were just the scariest dreams you can ever imagine.
"I'd think I was awake and he would take over my body. It was absolutely terrifying. I used to tell my mum I wanted to stay up all night because I was so scared.
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"I didn't know if I was awake or asleep.
"I started keeping a journal to see if I could make some sense of it.
“I look back on it now and I thank God I had the nightmares as they saved my life.”
What is breast cancer and how does it spread?
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK – with one woman diagnosed every ten minutes.
While most women can get breast cancer, it is most common in women who are over the age of 50.
According to Cancer Research UK, breast cancer starts in the breast tissue.
Breast cancer develops when abnormal cells in the breast begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way and eventually form a growth.
Most invasive breast cancers are found in the upper-outer quadrant of the breast.
If it’s not diagnosed and treated it can move through the lymph or blood vessels to other areas of the body.
Each year in the UK there are around 55,200 new breast cancer cases.
This equates to around 150 new cases a day.
It also accounts for 15 per cent of all new cancer cases each year.
If the cancer is diagnosed at its earliest stage then 98 per cent of people will survive the disease for five years or more.
If it is diagnosed at the latest stage, then just 26 per cent of people survive for five years or more.
What are the four stages of breast cancer?
Stage one: The cancer is small and only in the breast tissue – but can also be found in lymph nodes close to the breast.
Stage two: The cancer is either in the breast or in the nearby lymph nodes or both.
Stage three: The cancer has spread from the breast to the lymph nodes or the skin of the breast or the chest wall.
Stage four: The cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
What are the signs?
- A lump in the breast or armpit
- Changes in the positioning of the nipple
- Nipples leaking in women who have not had children
- Skin changes
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