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Breast cancer selfie: Facebook photo warns women what to look for

It's not the kind of photo she ever expected to post on Facebook, but Lisa Royle of Manchester, England, snapped a selfie of her breast in the hope of saving lives.

Royle was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and before she underwent a mastectomy, she wanted to show other women the surprisingly subtle warning signs.

"This is all that I found on my boob," she writes. "Very subtle dimples underneath that could easily be missed."

Ok so I never thought I'd post a boob picture on Facebook but I thought I would before it gets chopped off next week....

Posted by Lisa Royle on Monday, May 11, 2015

The American Cancer Society warns that skin dimpling on the breast can be a sign of cancer, though many women may be unaware of its significance. Feeling a lump or mass on the breast is a classic warning sign that should be checked by a doctor right away, but that's not the only way breast cancer can present itself. Cancer experts say swelling of the breast, skin irritation, thickening of the skin, or nipple changes or discharge can also be telltale signs that should be examined by a doctor.

"Please take time to look at your boobs," Royle urged other women on Facebook. "It could save [your] life."

Her husband posted an update on Monday, saying: "Lisa is out of surgery and doing really well. Bit groggy from the morphine but in good spirits and should be home later this evening. The support has blown us away so a massive thanks to u all."

Royle's brave photo and Facebook message highlight the role social media can play in sharing information and lifting the stigma about sensitive health issues that were long considered private and hard to discuss. In another example that went viral just last week, an Alabama woman's "skin cancer selfie" on Facebook provided a graphic and powerful warning about the dangers of tanning.