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Mum claims slapping on fake tan before first date saved her life

Mum claims slapping on fake tan before first date saved her life

Joy Collins was getting ready to go out on a date when she noticed something was wrong

A mum says she's thankful she put on some fake tan before going on a first date, as it saved her life.

Joy Collins, from Essex, decided to go for a bit of a pamper session before going for a night out. However, the 48-year-old became concerned when she noticed some dimples above her left breast while looking in the mirror to see whether her tan had streaked.

On closer inspection, Joy discovered a small lump, and went to the doctor to get it checked out.

"That pampering session saved my life," Joy said. "I was recently separated and getting ready to go on a date, it was a bit random.

Joy was going on a first date when she spotted a lump.
Kennedy News and Media

"That's the only reason why and because I wanted to make sure I wasn't streaky, I was looking in the mirror and noticed it.

"Once I saw the dimpling then I did a self-examination and felt something, but I wasn't 100 percent sure.

"It wasn't very big. I just felt like there was something under the skin. It was around the size of a bean and was hard."

She added: "I thought, 'Oh, I don't think that's been there before', but I'm busy, work full time and have two children, so I delayed going to the doctors."

The GP then referred Joy to a specialist breast clinic, and she was diagnosed with breast cancer that very same day.

The mum-of-two, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma when she was 25, was told that she had stage 3C triple negative breast cancer, which is a particularly aggressive form of cancer that grows quickly and had already spread to her lymph nodes.

She underwent chemotherapy and a mastectomy.
Kennedy News and Media

"I didn't expect to be told there and then that it was breast cancer, so I fell apart," the finance director said.

"It was a complete shock because I was sort of expecting them to say, 'We might suspect it, we'll wait for the biopsy results'."

"Having gone through cancer before, it's different when you have children, it's a completely different scenario."

Joy underwent 12 cycles of intravenous chemotherapy and three cycles of EC chemotherapy, as well as a mastectomy and complete lymph node removal, which was followed by immediate reconstruction surgery, with doctors taking skin, tissue and blood vessels from her stomach.

She now has to decide whether to get preventative mastectomy on her right breast in case the cancer spreads.

"Obviously, I see the scar on my stomach which is from the left side all the way across to the right, so it's literally like I've been cut in half. It is healing really well," she said.

The mum-of-two us urging others to get themselves checked out.
Kennedy News and Media

"The psychological effects of the scarring have been quite hard to process and accept because it's a permanent reminder of the fact that I have had breast cancer."

"And then coming up to next year, I have to make a decision on the other side, hopefully I can just have an implant there so it would be less invasive surgery and scarring."

She now wants to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of women getting themselves checked out.

Joy added: "One of the reasons why I posted online was because I wanted to try to stop someone else going through what I've been through because it has been a journey.

"I hate that word but it has been and although it's a small chapter of my life it's been one of the biggest because it's like a stone in water - it has a ripple effect.

"You worry about family, friends, it affects people that you work with."

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Topics: Health