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Woman's Urgent Warning After 'Tiny Dots' On Arm Turned Out To Be Cancer

Ali Condon

Published 
| Last updated 

Woman's Urgent Warning After 'Tiny Dots' On Arm Turned Out To Be Cancer

Featured Image Credit: Jam Press

A woman has shared a serious warning after discovering that the seemingly harmless 'dots' that began appearing on her skin were really a sign of blood cancer.

20-year-old Helaina Hillyard first noticed the freckle-like spots back in November 2021 after basketball practice one evening. Within the space of a few hours, they had increased in size and spread across her arms and legs.

After heading to the hospital to get them checked, Helaina was shocked when doctors rushed her to the emergency room. Watch her video here:

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After getting blood work done, doctors found that the Iowa woman's blood levels were extremely low and the dots on her skin were petechiae - a sign of internal bleeding.

It wasn't long before she was transferred to another hospital where she was told that she had B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia - blood cancer.

Other than the strange dots that suddenly appeared on her skin, Helaina insisted that she felt completely fit and well, leaving her in total "disbelief and shock" when she got the news.

“I could have nearly died if I waited a few more hours to go to the doctor" she said.

Helaina, 20, was shocked when doctors told her she had cancer. Credit: Jam Press
Helaina, 20, was shocked when doctors told her she had cancer. Credit: Jam Press

"The doctor in the ER said I was extremely lucky I hadn’t played basketball [since that day] because I could have easily suffered a brain bleed or internal bleeding.

“I never in a million years could think something like this could happen to anyone in my life let alone myself.”

Helaina immediately started treatment with blood transfusions and chemotherapy, which is now receiving every 10 days.

The student has put her studies on hold and is taking things one day at a time.

The student found strange dots all over her skin. Credit: Jam Press
The student found strange dots all over her skin. Credit: Jam Press

She said: “I wanted to show it's possible to try to keep a positive spin on things no matter how bleak things may seem. 

“I received lots of different reactions. I unintentionally scared some people - and worried some that their spots might be cancer and they reached out to me with questions.

“But I also received so many nice supportive messages and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

After sharing her experience on TikTok and warning viewers to keep an eye out for the tell-tale skin dots, Helaina went viral and has been flooded with messages of support.

Topics: Health, TikTok

Ali Condon
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