Mum tried to remove ‘blood blister’ with pin before discovering it was rare cancer
A mum-of-four who tried to prick what she thought was a blood blister soon discovered it was actually an aggressive and rare type of cancer.
Helen Notley, from Farsley, Leeds, noticed the mark on her hand and tried to get rid of it herself.
Back in 2018, she attempted to remove it while on holiday using a safety pin – but she soon found out the terrible truth.
The fitness instructor, 46, was told she had nodular melanoma after a visit to the GP on her return, report Leeds Live.
The parent had the lump removed and got the all clear, but it returned in 2020 when she discovered another lump in her arm.
This time it was much more serious and doctors told her that the cancer had spread.
She is now taking part in a clinical trial for a new drug that is proven to shrink tumours after surgeries to remove the lumps didn’t work.
Prior to the cancer, Helen was using sunbeds regularly – and she now wants to warn others of the dangers.
Helen said: “It’s a big regret, I didn’t realise quite how bad sunbeds were.
“I was genuinely shocked to find out it was cancer, I didn’t think anything of it, it was a real eye opener because I consider myself to be very body aware but I just thought it was something of nothing.
“I was literally trying to cure cancer with a bottle of TP and a safety pin!” she joked.
“It hadn’t occurred to me at all it was anything dodgy.
“I had it removed in 2018, got the all clear, got drunk and celebrated and didn’t think any more of it. Until I found another lump in my arm in April 2021 – this time I knew straight away.
“This time it was a lot more serious and quite nasty because it meant it was in my system. I had it removed again and had a fairly new treatment called immunotherapy.
“By September I could see a lot more tumours growing in my arm and after the final lot of surgery, my doctors said it wasn’t working.
“Right now it’s stage 3, it’s confined to my arm and I have regular CT scans to maintain it.
“I am now taking part in a clinical trial for a new drug, it’s not a cure but it has proven to shrink tumours in some people.
“There’s a huge grey area with cancer – people think you either live or die but there’s people like me who are living with it and managing it and I don’t think that is spoken about enough.”
The determined mum who said she has had “a huge wake up call” has channelled her efforts into fundraising for Cancer Research.
In total she has raised £6,000 with various fundraising events in an attempt to “give back.”
Helen added: “I had people saying I shouldn’t be doing it, I should be resting but I’m quite a strong person and quite fit so I knew I could do it.
“At the minute I feel like a huge strain of resources so it feels great to be able to give back and it helps me immensely to keep motivated and keep going as well.
“The support from people, especially the local community has been amazing.”