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Young mother Hannah Bolton, 31, was inspired to check her breasts after watching 22-year-old Molly’s candid videos about having lumps removed from her body last year.
After finding a small lump, a doctor diagnosed Hannah with triple negative breast cancer and she has admitted without Molly’s videos ‘she would have never checked her breasts’.
Inspiration: Hannah Bolton, 31, has credited Molly-Mae Hague, 22, (pictured) with ‘saving her life’ after being inspired to get her breasts checked by the Love Island star
Diagnosis: After finding a small lump, a doctor diagnosed Hannah (pictured) with triple negative breast cancer and she has admitted without Molly’s videos ‘she would have never checked her breasts’
Bristol native Hannah, who is now undergoing chemotherapy, explained: ‘Molly-Mae’s decision to share that post saved my life.’
She went on: ‘If she hadn’t, I would never have checked my breasts to this very day.
‘That lump would still be growing now. It could be really bad by this point if I hadn’t found it.’
Hannah was scrolling through Instagram in September 2021 after putting three-year-old son Jaxon Bolton to bed when she came across Molly’s account.
Hannah added: ‘Molly-Mae’s decision to share that post saved my life. That lump would still be growing now. It could be really bad by this point if I hadn’t found it’
Candid: Molly revealed in September that she had surgery to remove a ‘benign’ lump in her breast and a separate mass in her finger
After seeing Molly’s post, Hannah was horrified to find a solid, grape-sized lump on her left breast.
After a trip to her GP and a hospital breast care centre Hannah, then 30, was stunned to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer.
Despite only being at the beginning of her chemo journey, Hannah, a district nurse, has had good feedback from doctors.
In light of her diagnosis, the doting mother encourages other young women to insist on getting mammograms.
Scrolling: Hannah was scrolling through Instagram in September 2021 after putting three-year-old son Jaxon Bolton (pictured) to bed when she came across Molly’s account
Describing her ordeal in detail, Hannah revealed: ‘I was in Portugal on the first night of my holiday with my son.
‘We’d just had a nice little meal and then went back to the room to put the little one to sleep. I got him down and went on social media and I saw a post by Molly-Mae, an influencer who was on Love Island.
‘She’d put up a post about having just had surgery after they biopsied her and removed a benign tumour and she was raising awareness to check for breast abnormalities.’
She went on: ‘So, off the back of that post I felt my boob and I found a lump in the left lower quadrant of my left breast on the outside of the nipple.
‘It was bobbly, rock solid and about the size of a grape. I hadn’t noticed it at all – hadn’t seen it, felt it, nothing, until that very moment.
Horrified: After seeing Molly’s post, Hannah was horrified to find a solid, grape-sized lump on her left breast
‘I was worried straight away and I instantly messaged my mum.’
Hannah booked an appointment with her GP when she got home a week later and was referred to Southmead Hospital in Bristol.
On October 25 she underwent a physical examination, ultrasound and biopsy – but wasn’t offered a mammogram.
While waiting for the results Hannah said her hormones were ‘going crazy’ and she broke out in severe acne across her face, something she doesn’t normally suffer with, and that the lump doubled in size.
Hannah said: ‘The GP checked me out and said she could feel it and that it was about 3cm. [Within six weeks] the tumour had almost doubled in size.
‘I also had really bad acne all over my face, and I don’t usually suffer with that, my hormones were just going crazy.’
On November 4 Hannah was told the devastating news that she had breast cancer.
Hannah shared: ‘When I went back [for my results] the doctor came out and he called me, I saw him in his scrubs and I knew straight away.
‘As soon as he got me in the room I said ”I know you’re giving me bad news” and he said he was sorry to see me here as young as I am but that it was triple-negative breast cancer’.
Hannah added: ‘When he said that I just thought about my little boy. I just thought ”I don’t want to die, my little boy hasn’t got a dad, what’s he going to do without a mum?”.’
Shocking: After a trip to her GP and a hospital breast care centre Hannah, then 30, was stunned to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer
Then Hannah was sent for a mammogram and it was recommended she undergo chemotherapy before having surgery and radiotherapy.
On November 25 Hannah underwent the first of 16 rounds of chemo – declining the offer of fertility treatment and cold cap treatment so she could start chemotherapy as soon as possible.
Hannah continued: ‘Once I was told I had cancer all I kept thinking was that I was going to die. My first chemo was relatively fast because I declined fertility treatment and cold cap treatment.
‘I was told each might delay treatment by up to a month and I just wasn’t willing to hang around.
‘My main priority was Jaxon. I remember thinking ”it’s sad that I’m going to go into early menopause and not have more children at 30 but at least I’ve got my son, he needs me”.’
Treatment: Then Hannah was sent for a mammogram and it was recommended she undergo chemotherapy before having surgery and radiotherapy
‘I was like ”get the picc line in and get the chemo started”. Within three weeks to the day of my diagnosis I started treatment.’
Hannah has since undergone four rounds of chemo and has another 12 to go, hoping to complete it by April 21, before having a lumpectomy and radiotherapy treatment.
Now Hannah is urging people to undertake regular self-examinations so if they experience any changes they can get medical treatment straight away.
Hannah said: ‘I didn’t think I would be diagnosed with breast cancer at 30. I hadn’t known anybody at this age to be diagnosed and the doctor told me I was the youngest on the caseload, so that says it all really.
‘It was just such a shock and the fact that I was so unaware of the fact that you should check your breasts every month.’
She added: ‘This Molly-Mae post was what brought it to light and off the back of that, finding the lump, it was like a sign.
‘It was like a sign telling me – she did that post for you to see so you find this lump so you can then share it with the world in the hope that people have early detections to save lives.’
Molly revealed in September that she had surgery to remove a ‘benign’ lump in her breast and a separate mass in her finger.
Update: Further updating her fans, Molly-Mae said: ‘Also had a lump removed from my finger that I’ve spoken about a few times too’
The former Love Island contestant shared pictures from her hospital bed as he revealed she had undergone the procedure.
Molly-Mae had previously spoken about discovering a non-cancerous lump in her breast and had been referred for a biopsy.
Posing for a picture with her beloved cuddly toy Elly Belly, Molly-Mae smiled as she revealed she has had the lump successfully removed.
Alongside the snap, she wrote: ‘I spoke about a lump I found in my boob on a recent vlog of mine, well I had it removed today. Check your bodies people!!’
Further updating her fans, Molly-Mae said: ‘Also had a lump removed from my finger that I’ve spoken about a few times too.’
‘Also having a canula put in my hand has always been without a doubt my BIGGEST fear… so that in itself today is a HUGE achievement for me.’
Molly-Mae previously told YouTube channel she’d been referred for a biopsy after discovering a benign lump in her breast had grown, but reassured her followers that it’s ‘not serious.’
The star explained she previously had the lump checked by doctors, who reassured her that it was benign and non-harmful.
Struggles: Molly-Mae told fans that doctors had referred her for a biopsy after discovering a benign lump in her breast had grown
She told her fans: ‘I basically noticed a little lump in my boob, went to get it checked and it was completely fine, completely benign.
‘It’s a little thing called a fibroadenoma and it’s a normal thing to get at this age, small lumps can happen all the time it doesn’t mean they’re sinister.’
Molly-Mae then told fans she’d begun to notice the lump was growing as it became more noticeable on her clothes.
She continued: ‘I went back today to get it checked and it had grown a little bit, again, it doesn’t mean it’s sinister, it doesn’t mean it’s dramatic, so the doctor recommended that we did a biopsy.
Worrying: Molly-Mae then told fans she’d begun to notice the lump was growing as it became more noticeable on her clothes, and is awaiting the results of further tests
‘It was not very nice actually considering I’m afraid of needles, but I thought there’s not really a way around this.
‘I promise it’s nothing serious, I don’t want it to be a massive thing. I think it’s important that I share this with you guys.
‘It’s an important subject and we should all be checking our boobs and checking for lumps so we can do things like this.’
Molly-Mae went onto tell her fans she would provide them with an update as soon as she gets the results.
Shock: Molly-Mae was previously given the devastating diagnosis that a mole of her leg was a malignant melanoma – a type of skin cancer
In November 2020, Molly-Mae was given the devastating diagnosis that a mole of her leg was a malignant melanoma – a type of skin cancer.
The influencer filmed herself being given the diagnosis for her YouTube channel.
In the video, she opened up about what she’s been going through following her ‘shock’ diagnosis, telling her fans: ‘I was walking around with skin cancer on my leg.’
Molly-Mae revealed that she learned her mole was a malignant melanoma during a work trip to Italy, when a doctor phoned her to deliver the diagnosis following a recent biopsy.
The social media star initially got the mole on her leg checked out by two dermatologists but was told it was nothing to worry about.
Molly-Mae eventually sought third professional opinion during a routine check-up because she ‘felt something wasn’t quite right’.
Speaking on her YouTube video, after the phone call from her doctor played out, she told fans: ‘I got the call today and he’s told me it is malignant melanoma – which is skin cancer basically.
‘It’s obviously petrifying, shocking and scary. I don’t even know what to think or say. I cannot believe I was told by others doctors it was OK. I am so upset and angry.
‘I just briefly asked this doctor when I was walking out. I was walking around with skin cancer on my leg!’
‘If I hadn’t have asked, I’d still have that mole on my leg now and I’d be none the wiser. It could be spreading through my body, you just never know.’
Molly-Mae continued, explaining how she was trying to be strong, despite breaking down, so that her loved ones didn’t freak out.
She said: ‘I’ve already shed tears about it. I’ve already cried down the phone to every family member.’
Molly-Mae concluded the video by urging her fans to have their moles checked out.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and affects more than two MILLION women a year
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than 55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the US, it strikes 266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what causes it and how can it be treated?
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer develops from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.
When the breast cancer has spread into surrounding breast tissue it is called an ‘invasive’ breast cancer. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.
Most cases develop in women over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can develop in men though this is rare.
Staging means how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.
The cancerous cells are graded from low, which means a slow growth, to high, which is fast growing. High grade cancers are more likely to come back after they have first been treated.
What causes breast cancer?
A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply ‘out of control’.
Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, there are some risk factors that can increase the chance of developing breast cancer, such as genetics.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most breast lumps are not cancerous and are fluid filled cysts, which are benign.
The first place that breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this occurs you will develop a swelling or lump in an armpit.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
- Initial assessment: A doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may do tests such as a mammography, a special x-ray of the breast tissue which can indicate the possibility of tumours.
- Biopsy: A biopsy is when a small sample of tissue is removed from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under the microscope to look for abnormal cells. The sample can confirm or rule out cancer.
If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the liver or a chest x-ray.
How is breast cancer treated?
Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments are used.
- Surgery: Breast-conserving surgery or the removal of the affected breast depending on the size of the tumour.
- Radiotherapy: A treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focussed on cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or stops cancer cells from multiplying. It is mainly used in addition to surgery.
- Chemotherapy: A treatment of cancer by using anti-cancer drugs which kill cancer cells, or stop them from multiplying
- Hormone treatments: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen, which can stimulate the cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments which reduce the level of these hormones, or prevent them from working, are commonly used in people with breast cancer.
How successful is treatment?
The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small, and has not spread. Surgical removal of a tumour in an early stage may then give a good chance of cure.
The routine mammography offered to women between the ages of 50 and 70 mean more breast cancers are being diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
For more information visit breastcancercare.org.uk, breastcancernow.org or www.cancerhelp.org.uk