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She Thought She Just Had Razor Burn, But A Second Opinion Proved She Had Cancer

JANUARY 13, 2017  —  By Corinne Sanders

Most people who shave have dealt with razor burn.

Nobody likes it -- it's ugly, itchy, and really annoying to get rid of. However, what this woman thought was razor burn ended up saving her life.

When 21-year-old Rhiannon Douglas from Staffordshire, England, noticed red blotches all over her legs in May, she chalked them up to a result of shaving. It wasn't until later that she realized that something way more serious was going on.

Eventually, the blotches began spreading all over her body. She was afraid that she had meningitis, so she went to the hospital. "My legs were constantly burning, I could only wear loose fitted clothes and I couldn't wear shoes, I had to live in flip flops," she told Daily Mail.

Doctors told her that she had Henoch-Schonlein purpura, a rare condition in which blood vessels become inflamed. They sent her home and told her to take ibuprofen, but soon, her condition grew worse.

Her legs swelled up and she experienced severe joint pain. She was referred to a rheumatologist, as doctors believed she had arthritis. But after she woke up one November morning with a lot of pain in her back, she returned to the hospital.

Six months after the start of her symptoms, X-rays revealed that she had a mass growing in her chest. She was finally diagnosed with nodular sclerosis lymphoma, a type of Hodgkin's lymphoma that develops in the lymphatic system.

"When I was told that I had cancer I felt numb and never thought I would hear those words at just 20 years old. But I was determined to fight it," she said. As it turns out, her rash was a blessing, because doctors told her that she likely wouldn't have been treated in time if she hadn't gotten it.

Since starting treatment, her tumor has shrunk from 8.5 centimeters to 7.5 centimeters. She's hopeful that she'll get more positive news after another scan later this month.

Read More: Doctors Didn’t Think She Would Make It After Contracting A Rare Form Of Meningitis

Because of her experience, Douglas wants to raise awareness about the rarer symptoms of cancer. "I would urge anyone to get themselves checked out if they are unsure of anything as you just never know what it might be," she said.

(via Daily Mail / Metro)

Here's hoping that she one day goes into remission. Be sure to share this story with your loved ones to encourage them to always get a second opinion when it comes to their health!

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