Woman suffering from ‘shaving rash’ discovers it is rare symptom of cancer

Doctors say appearance of the red blotches meant the 21-year-old was diagnosed early enough to be treated

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Wednesday 11 January 2017 19:59 GMT
The 'shaving rash' spread from her legs to the rest of her body
The 'shaving rash' spread from her legs to the rest of her body (Caters)

A 21-year-old woman suffering from what she thought was shaving rash discovered her symptoms were actually a rare sign of cancer.

Rhiannon Douglas, from Cannock, Staffordshire, noticed red patches on her legs, which she attributed to hair removal.

However, the rash quickly spread to the rest of her body, and when she started suffering from back pains, the receptionist was rushed to hospital.

Tests discovered an 8.5cm tumour was growing in her chest and revealed the suspected shaving rash had actually been a rare symptom of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Ms Douglas was suffering from Henoch-Schonlein purpura, a rare condition which causes blood vessels to become inflamed.

Doctors also told her that if the rare condition had never appeared, it would have been unlikely her nodular sclerosis lymphoma would have been diagnosed in time to be treated.

Rhiannon Douglas, 21 from Cannock, West Mids.
Rhiannon Douglas, 21 from Cannock, West Mids. (Caters)

“I couldn't believe that the rash on my legs was a rare sign of cancer, I had never heard or seen of this before so I was completely shocked when I found out. At first I just thought the rash was caused by shaving, it made sense as it was my cousin's wedding a few days before and because I was wearing a dress I had shaved my legs,” Ms Douglas said.

“But when it started to spread I panicked and thought it was meningitis and went straight to the doctor. 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 also told how she was misdiagnosed multiple times before joint and back pain led to her attending A&E.

“When I was told that I had cancer I felt numb and never thought I would hear those words at just 20 years old,” she said.

“But I was determined to fight it and there and then I decided to change my lifestyle around, I wanted to do everything I could to get better.”

Miss Douglas says her tumour has since shrunk without treatment, which she attributed to natural remedies and her vegan diet.

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