Leeds & West Yorkshire

Wakefield PC's body armour 'aided early cancer diagnosis'

Pc Samantha Wood Image copyright Samantha Woods
Image caption PC Samantha Woods said she initially thought her body armour was too tight

A police officer has said she caught her breast cancer early thanks to her body armour.

West Yorkshire PC Samantha Woods, 33, said had she not been wearing the protective clothing she would not have known there was a problem.

The officer recalled how she had been getting a slight ache but initially thought her armour was too tight.

Ms Woods, who underwent surgery last week, has urged all women and men to check their breasts.

The officer, who is based in Normanton, Wakefield, said she noticed in February an aching feeling in her left breast but it disappeared when she took her armour off.

After talking about it with friends she decided to get checked out.

Small indentation

The doctor told her there were no lumps but referred her to hospital where a consultant noticed a small indentation to the side of her nipple.

After an MRI and biopsies, she was told she had early-stage breast cancer.

"I was just in shock," she said, adding that she was "more upset that my mum was sat there with me and she had to hear the news that her 33-year-old daughter had cancer."

The officer, who underwent surgery on Wednesday to remove the tumour, is awaiting the results of further tests to determine whether she needs more treatment.

"I honestly owe my diagnosis to the fact that I was wearing my body armour," she said.

"If it wasn't for that, I don't know how long it would have taken me to get any sign."

Before her operation, the officer posted about her experience on Twitter, where she urged other people to get checked if they were worried, even if there were no symptoms.

"The response has been amazing," she said, adding that she "wanted to get the message out there that this can happen to anyone."

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