In a case that should alarm all women, a 21-year-old female from Cannock, Staffordshire was shocked to realize that what first appeared to be a shaving rash on her legs turned out to be a rare form of cancer.
“I had never heard or seen of this before,” said Rhiannon Douglas,” “so I was completely shocked when I found out.”
What began as unalarming red blotches on her legs then began to spread quickly across her body.
Not long after, she began to experience severe back pains and was rushed to the hospital.
“At first I just thought the rash was caused by shaving, it made sense as it was my cousin’s wedding a few days before and because I was wearing a dress I had shaved my legs.”
However, she even began to grow an 8.5cm mass on her chest, another sign that her condition was an unusual form of Hodgkin lymphoma.
Despite the rare diagnosis, she is lucky that the tumor on her chest has gradually shrunk, and Rhiannon believes her vegan diet is responsible.
“I was misdiagnosed several times,” she said, “and it took six months before I started to get pains in my joints and back I was sent to A&E and that’s where they found the mass on my chest.”
One of her original misdiagnoses included “Henoch-Schonlein purpura”, a condition in which blood vessels get inflamed.
Doctors prescribed her Ibuprofen and she was sent home, only to see an abrupt worsening of her overall symptoms.
It wasn’t until she began feeling pain in her back that she finally decided enough was enough, and called her general practitioner who urged her to go to the hospital.
Originally, when her legs were constantly burning and the rashes began spreading, she “panicked and thought it was meningitis and went straight to the doctor”
“I could only wear loose fitted clothes and I couldn’t wear shoes, I had to live in flip flops.”
Despite the sense of fear she originally felt when being diagnosed with cancer, the tumor has actually shrunk on its own.
“After doing research online I found some articles that say a rash is a common sign of cancer but it’s not a very common one, some people may not know what to look out for.”
“I would urge anyone to get themselves checked out if they are unsure of anything as you just never know what it might be.”
“But I also think it’s also really important not to put a death sentence on the word cancer, I have a really positive outlook and I’m hoping to be in remission by the summer.”