“This little moment of well-being saved my life,” says Joy Collins. Hailing from Southend, UK, this 48-year-old mum made an unimaginable discovery while simply applying self-tanner. “I was preparing for a romantic date, it was a bit of a coincidence. (…) I was just putting on self-tanner and I noticed small wrinkles on my skin, she remembers in the LeicestershireLive columns. I thought, ‘Has this been there before?’ but I thought ‘No, I’m sure I’ve never seen this before’.”

Intrigued, Joy took a closer look at her breasts and felt a small lump in her armpit. “After seeing the fine lines, I felt myself and felt something, but I wasn’t 100% sure. It wasn’t very big. I just felt there was something under the skin, the size of a bean. It was hard.” Having noticed a similar lump in the past, which turned out to be benign, the mother of the family was not overly concerned and did not go to the doctor until the following month.

“I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through”

After a mammogram at Southend University Hospital, Joy was diagnosed with stage 3C breast cancer. “I did not expect to be told there and that it was breast cancer, so I collapsed, she says. I was in shock because I I was expecting them to tell me, ‘We have a doubt, let’s wait for the results of the biopsy'”.

Between August 2021 and March 2022, Joy underwent several surgeries, including a mastectomy, and chemotherapy treatments. She is now in remission but shares her story to encourage everyone to be vigilant. “The reason I talk about it on the internet is that I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through. (…) Although it’s a small chapter in my life , it’s one of the biggest because it’s like a rock in water. It’s making waves. People need to check it out, at any age. Don’t think that because you’re 20 , you’re too young to examine yourself. Start young and make it a routine – when you shower, dress or apply self-tanner.” Wise advice.

She applies self-tanner and makes a discovery that will change her life

By applying self-tanner, she discovered the unimaginable. © Pexels

Maria T.
Maria T.

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