A MUM says Love Islander Molly-Mae Hague saved her life after urging people to “check for lumps”.
Hannah Bolton, 31, made a heartbreaking discovery minutes after seeing the post on Molly-Mae’s Instagram story.
Hannah Bolton, 31, has thanked Molly-Mae Hague for urging her to “check for lumps”, as it led to her breast cancer discovery
Love Islander Molly-Mae urged people to check themselves after having two non-cancerous lumps removed herself
After seeing the snaps while lying in bed, Hannah swept her hand across her left breast and was horrified to discover a solid grape-sized lump.
After a trip to her GP and a hospital breast care centre, she was stunned to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer.
While still at the beginning of her chemo journey, Hannah has already had good feedback from doctors about her progress.
The district nurse, from Bristol, said: “Molly-Mae’s decision to share that post saved my life. If she hadn’t shared that post I would never have checked my breasts to this very day.
“I never did, it never crossed my mind. That lump would still be growing now, it could be really bad by this point if I hadn’t found it.”
Hannah was on holiday in Portugal with her three-year-old son Jaxton Bolton when she found the lump in her breast.
She said: “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.
Millionaire Molly-Mae shared the snap of her in a hospital bed in September, snuggled up next to stuffed toy Ellie Belly to her 6.2million followers.
The 22-year-old had gotten non-cancerous lumps removed from her breast and finger.
Over the picture Molly-Mae 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!!!”
Hannah said: “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.
“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 25th she underwent a physical examination, ultrasound and biopsy.
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.”
After an agonising 10-day wait, on November 4, Hannah was invited back for her results and seen by a doctor in scrubs.
She said: “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‘.
“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?’.
“Once I was told I had cancer all I kept thinking was that I was going to die.”
Molly-Mae’s Instagram post that prompted Hannah to check her breasts
Hannah pictured before her breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 30
Triple negative breast cancer is more common in women under 40. It is a rarer form of breast cancer, accounting for around 15 per cent of cases.
Most women with this type of breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease. But some have an altered BRCA1 gene – that can cause breast cancer to run in families – inherited from a parent.
Hannah, whose cancer was stage two, said: “I don’t carry the gene and nobody in my family has ever had it.
“The doctor said they don’t know what causes triple-negative breast cancer, I’ve just been very unlucky.”
Long road ahead
After having a mammogram, Hannah underwent the first of 16 gruelling rounds of chemo on November 25th.
She declined the option to preserve her fertility prior to chemo, and for cold cap treatment, which helps prevent hair loss.
Hannah said: “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’.
“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.”
Determined Hannah has undergone four rounds of chemo and has another 12 to go, hoping to have the lump removed in April.
All the while, her friends are raising money on GoFundMe to help support the costs of childcare and bills while she fights the disease.
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.
“This Molly-Mae post was what brought it to light and off the back of that, finding the lump, it was like a sign.
“My advice is to pick a date and once a month give yourself a thorough check including up to the collarbone.
“If there are any changes in the breast at all, then get it checked out.”
The mum-of-one also wants all women to insist on having a mammogram if they’re biopsied.
She was not offered one at the time of her biopsy because “she was too young”.
The North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) said they follow national guidelines from the Royal College of Radiologists on mammogram screening.
It says mammography is the first line imaging modality of choice in women aged 40 years or over, with the addition of ultrasound as indicated.
It also states mammography should be performed on all patients with confirmed malignancy, irrespective of age.
An NBT spokesman said: “We are incredibly sorry for delays in our breast service, which has been caused by the unprecedented pressure in the pandemic.
“We understand how disruptive and distressing this can be and are doing everything we can to see patients as quickly as possible.
“While we can’t talk about individual cases, we can confirm we follow the national guidelines on performing mammograms.”
Hannah was on holiday with her son, Jaxon, three, when she discovered the lump in her breast
Hannah in hospital