Fake tan saved my life! Girl discovers lump in her neck while getting glammed up for a night outKathryn felt lump when applying beauty productDiagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the blood'It was my fake tan that saved my life', she says
Now in remission and raising awareness with charity
Miss Fish was applying the tanning product ahead of a weekend night out when she felt a lump in the side of her neck
When Kathryn Fish applied her fake tan, she had never expected it to save her life.
Miss Fish was applying the tanning product ahead of a weekend night out when she felt a lump in the side of her neck.
She went to the doctors and then was referred to hospital for a biopsy, and she received the devastating news that she had cancer.
She now credits the fake tan with saving her life – as it allowed her to discover the cancerous lump in time to get it treated.
Miss Fish, 21, a call centre operator, said: ‘My usual beauty routine involved applying fake tan before a night out.
‘I was rubbing it into my neck when I felt a hard lump on the side of my neck. I knew straight away that something was wrong.
‘I’m just glad I found it when I was applying my tanning lotion as if I hadn’t spotted it then, it could have had such a different outcome and I may not have survived.’
Miss Fish, whose partner Nick Green, 24, is a supermarket team leader, was suffering from tiredness and exhaustion in July last year, but put it down to a student lifestyle.
She said: ‘I was studying at the time and I was living a typical student lifestyle. I would fall asleep in the daytime and I thought that was normal as I was having late nights.
‘But looking back, it wasn’t normal for a young person to be as tired as I was.’
A few weeks later she was applying the tanning lotion to her body in preparation for a night out with her friends when she felt the lump.
Miss Fish, who lives in Cardiff, said: ‘I felt the lump on my neck and I showed it to my friends. They agreed it was unusual.
‘I put it to the back of my mind, thinking that it would just go away, but after three weeks it was still there so I went to see the doctor.
The doctor referred her for a biopsy at hospital and then the following week she had a CT scan.
She said: ‘I had to wait two weeks for the results so I went to Bulgaria on holiday with my friends. I never imagined it would be anything really serious.’
But doctors broke the devastating news to her that she had Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the blood.
said: ‘My parents came with me for the results and when he told us what
it was, we all just looked at each other and I burst into tears. My
world just fell apart, I couldn’t believe that I had cancer.
Doctors broke the devastating news to Kathryn that she had Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the blood
Kathryn, whose partner Nick Green, was suffering from tiredness and exhaustion in July last year, but put it down to a student lifestyle
Miss Fish started on chemotherapy treatment in August 2010 at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, which finished in January last year, which left her feeling sick and exhausted.
She said: ‘The chemotherapy was extremely draining and I felt sick and exhausted with it. I lost my hair too, but I was determined to beat this disease. I had so much I still wanted to do with my life – I wanted to travel the world, get a job and see my 21st birthday. I didn’t want to die young and that kept me fighting.’
Luckily the treatment has worked and she is now in remission, although she has to return to hospital every three months for a check up.
She said: ‘I just feel very lucky to still be alive, having beaten this disease. And it was my fake tan that saved my life. I’m very fussy with my fake tan and always make sure its rubbed in really well so that it doesn’t streak. And its that which has saved my life.
‘If I hadn’t been rubbing the lotion into my neck I wouldn’t have spotted the lump until later, and by then it could have been too late for me.
‘Because it was caught so early, I managed to get treated in time. Not only does fake tan save lives from skin cancer, but it has saved mine too from a different type of cancer.’
Miss Fish is now campaigning with the Lymphoma Association to raise the awareness of symptoms of Hodgkins Lymphoma, which includes excessive sweating, persister lumps, itching and tiredness.
She added: ‘People shouldn’t ignore lumps that don’t go away. And people need to realise that its not just breast cancer we should be checking for, but for lumps in your neck, armpit and groin too.’