• Thu. Mar 16th, 2023

American woman discovers cancer due to gua sha beauty tool

ByGurinderbir Singh

Feb 10, 2023

A young estate agent discovered she had a life-threatening disease after using a viral beauty hack.

Helen Bender, 26, was using the latest craze gua shua massage tool on her face to sculpt a “skinnier” jawline in April 2022, when she first felt the bump under her skin.

At the same time, the beauty lover was rapidly losing weight which she “loved”, The Sun reported.

But when the lump continued to grow she went to visit a doctor who quickly diagnosed her with stage 4 cancer.

“I remember having a blank stare on my face, it was such a blur,” said Helen, from Alabama, US.

“I had my fiance come and meet me at the doctors office, we were both crying,” she added.

Helen, had been in remission for five years from a previous melanoma diagnosis, after noticing a mole on her back.

She was having annual cancer check-ups, but had missed her 2022 appointment.

In 2018, there were more than 15,000 new cases of melanoma of the skin diagnosed in Australia and, in 2022, it is estimated that number will be closer to 18,000, according to Cancer Australia.

It is the most serious type of skin cancer and has a tendency to spread around the body.

Further scans revealed Helen’s cancer had spread and there were around 20 tumours spread across her body – including in her lungs and digestive system.

“I asked my doctor how long he thought I would have, and he said someone had come to him at a similar stage and they died in six weeks,” Helen recalls.

“I couldn’t tell my dad, it’s so hard to tell that kind of news to family members.

“So the doctor told my dad, and my dad told my mum and sister.

“They just hugged me and told me we were going to get through this.” she said.

Helen started a course of immunotherapy at the Mitchell Cancer Institute in Mobile, Alabama, in early June.

The medicine initially caused the tumours to balloon so much that strangers in the street stopped her and said they would pray for her.

Helen said: “It was pretty painful on my jaw, the lump was pressing on a nerve and it got difficult to swallow.

“I had a really big tumour in my left thigh, about the size of my fist, it grew so huge that my muscles would ache so badly.

“I couldn’t go to the rest room for so long as some were in my intestines [and] it was causing internal problems,” the estate agent added.

Now the swelling has gone down, Helen’s tumours are no longer painful and she says she feels positive for her future as the treatment appears to be working.

“I have another year-and-a-half of medicine, and they’re predicting I’ll go into remission in under two years,” Helen said.

“The one thing now that I always want to tell people is to go to your appointments,” she added.

Helen’s sister, Virginia Bender has launched a GoFundMe page so people can help support the 26-year old through her cancer treatment.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and reproduced with permission

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