Mum discovered her back pain could kill her after seeing embarrassing bodies

Katie Enell thought she pulled a muscle when she was first diagnosed with back pain, but the startling truth was discovered after tuning in to Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies show

Katie Enell
Katie Enell could spend “years if not decades” with her seven-year-old son Theo

A young mother turned on the television and discovered the life-threatening true cause of her shoulder and back pain.

Katie Enell, from Crosby, Merseyside, was ill from work because she thought she had strained a muscle which had killed her while watching TV.

The 29-year-old had never examined her breasts before and knew she should try when she saw someone doing an examination on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies show.

She found a lump larger than the size of a grape in her left breast Liverpool echo reports.

Katie has since been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer which has spread to her liver and bones.

She discovered that the real cause of her back pain was putting her life on the line


Katie Enell)

But the bad news didn’t end with the cancer diagnosis


Katie Enell)

Returning home from vacation on Friday June 17th, in a cruel twist of fate, the young mother learned the devastating news that she too had a brain tumour.

She shared her story to raise awareness of the importance of offering full-body scans to cancer patients to check that the disease hasn’t spread to other areas of their body.

Katie said: “I had back pain for about six months but I put it down to coming back to work after a holiday and lugging heavy tables outside. I had no symptoms other than right shoulder pain.

“I kept getting sick leave and one night I was watching Awkward Bodies on TV. I don’t usually watch TV, but since I was free from work there wasn’t really anything else to do.

While watching Awkward Bodies, she checked her chest – and went straight to her doctor


channel 4)

“When I switched to Embarrassing Bodies, it showed you how to do a breast exam, so I just sat in bed and just copied what they were doing and for some reason, instead of going right where the pain was too, I walked my left and found [a lump] instantly.”

She said she assumed she had just pulled a muscle in her shoulder, but when the pain continued to worsen, she went to her GP and to the emergency room.

Doctors initially suspected Katie had pleurisy – a condition that causes inflammation of the tissue between the lungs and chest – and she was laid off from work for five weeks.

Katie said the lump in her left breast was “bigger than a grape” and her mum and partner could feel it too.

She said: “I called the doctors the next morning and to put their blame on them they got me in very quickly. I was seen within two days of finding the lump.

“The doctor thought it was nothing to worry about but said she would refer me to the breast clinic. I was examined at Aintree Hospital within two weeks.”

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Katie was referred for further tests including a mammogram and ultrasound followed by a biopsy which confirmed she had breast cancer. Two weeks later, on July 14, the young mother received the devastating news that the cancer was stage four and had spread to her bones and liver.

Katie said: “You ask if you have any questions at the hospital – you’ve gone from a day where you were a 28-year-old mother with no care in the world to your life being in danger.

“You’re kind of scared for your life — you’re like, ‘I won’t be here for Christmas, I won’t be here for birthdays.’ I just felt like I got a death sentence.

“The phrase they used was ‘treatable, not curable.’ At first they didn’t know how I would respond to treatment because you have to wait – you have CT scans every three months.”

Since starting chemotherapy last summer, Katie has responded well to treatment. During a June 8 hospital appointment, she was told the results of her most recent CT scan showed the cancer was stable and had continued to shrink in her liver, meaning they have “years, if not decades” to live could.

To celebrate the news, Katie took her partner on a surprise holiday to Spain’s Costa del Sol – but just two days after returning home on June 17, she was dealt another devastating blow after releasing the results of her MRI scan had received by phone.

She said: “With such good news, I had kind of forgotten about the brain MRI. The results had come back and they had found a 13mm brain tumor in the left frontal lobe.”

Katie said she requested the scan after she started experiencing stinging and twitching in her left eye, which was sensitive to light, and doctors agreed it was the best option for her.

She said she couldn’t fault the care she’s received, but wants to raise awareness of the importance of full-body scans being offered to cancer patients, as she’s also met other women through the charity Make 2nds Count who have had similar experiences.

In a video on Instagram, Katie said: “More needs to be done. We need to be scanned from head to pelvis. I just couldn’t wake up one day. How you tell my little boy that I could have been? Saved?

“That he could have had more time with mom if it was just for a scan? That’s the reality.”

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