10 Things I Didn't Know About Breast Cancer Until I Was Diagnosed: Insights from a Breast Cancer Surgeon

Dr. Liz O'Riordan, a breast cancer surgeon for three years, believed she knew everything about the disease until she received her own diagnosis. She was shocked to learn what hundreds of her patients had experienced firsthand.

Dr. Liz, who herself was diagnosed with breast cancer, initially thought she knew what her treatment and ten-year survival rate would look like.

Since being diagnosed a decade ago, she has learned a great deal about breast cancer that she had never suspected, through the experiences of her patients.

The 49-year-old woman, living in Suffolk with her husband Dermot, will never be able to have children, lost her job, and lives in fear every day that the disease will return.

The author of the book "Under the Knife" tells The Sun, "I thought I was an expert in breast cancer. I have a doctoral degree, spent my entire life studying the treatment of this disease, and realized how little I knew about what my patients actually go through."

Dr. Liz admits that she "never checked her breasts" because she believed it would never happen to her. She was in good shape, healthy, and young.

But in 2015, at the age of 40, while standing in front of the mirror, she noticed a lump.

She says, "It was only my mom who said, 'Listen, go and get it checked just in case' – and it turned out to be stage three breast cancer."

Typically, women are "dripped with information" about their prognosis, but with her experience, Dr. Liz says she immediately understood what the results of her ultrasound meant.

She says, "In that split second, I knew I needed chemotherapy because the cancer was large, I knew I needed a mastectomy, and I had a good idea of what my ten-year survival rate might be, all in an instant."

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