If you were to scroll through her Instagram pictures, you would never guess Maha Gorton was told by her doctors that she needed to have a mastectomy if she wanted to live. It’s hard to believe that diagnosis was just two years ago. The Dubai-born influencer and creator speaks openly about her health journey on Instagram, admitting that while she was familiar with breast cancer (her Egyptian mother is a survivor) she had never heard of DCIS or Ductal Carcinoma In Stiu, which refers to cancer cells developing on the inside of the milk ducts, before she was diagnosed.
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In November 2017 I was diagnosed with high grade DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ - cancer cells lining my milk ducts and the only way to fight it was a mastectomy. My incredible mother is a breast cancer survivor Alhamdulilah so I always had the awareness but nothing prepared me for what the doctor told me. I was 33 and the fittest and healthiest I had ever been. I had finally reached a level of self acceptance and felt comfortable in my own skin. Now I was being told I would need a rather radical surgery. Alhamdulilah it was caught early and post surgery I didn’t need chemo or radiation. More and more women are being diagnosed with breast cancer and at a young age. Recently someone very close to me was diagnosed. The first thing she asked me is “how do I tell my daughter?”. The dust has settled from my storm. I can finally reflect on the journey and turn what was a very hard time into something helpful. I hope also in sharing my experience I will raise awareness about DCIS, something I had never heard of until my diagnosis. I will share my journey in highlights under ‘My DCIS journey’ so it’s there as a reference. Finally ladies, self examination is key. Early detection is key. Don’t wait until something’s wrong to have a checkup and if you feel something isn’t right, go see your doctor straight away. . . . #breastcancerawareness #breastcancer #dcis
Thankfully, after her surgery in 2017 no further chemotherapy or radiation was required and Gorton, now 35, could focus on her recovery. However, when a close friend of Gorton’s was diagnosed recently, the mum of three felt it was “important to share her story now more than ever before” - and with breast cancer becoming more and more prevalent in younger women Gorton’s message couldn’t come soon enough. Determined to “use this platform in a constructive way”, Gorton’s message is clear – don’t be scared, don’t wait, get checked by your doctor regularly and especially if you feel something is wrong.