Woman, 20, stunned to learn innocent-looking dots on her skin are cancer

A WOMAN has been told small dots across her skin are a symptom of cancer.

A woman was told small dots across her skin turned out to be cancer

A woman was told small dots across her skin turned out to be cancer (Image: Jam Press/Helaina Hillyard)

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Helaina Hillyard, 20, first noticed the freckle-like spots appearing on her body in 2021 while changing following a basketball match. She thought the small dots were bruises.

In just a couple of hours, the spots increased in size and scattered across her body, covering her arms and less.

Helaina decided to go to the hospital to get checked.

To her surprise, she was sent to the emergency room, where tests showed her blood levels were extremely low.

The doctor explained the dots on her skin were petechiae – spots that appear as a result of internal bleeding.

Helaina Hillyard, 20 from Iowa, noticed dots on her arm after basketball

Helaina Hillyard, 20 from Iowa, noticed dots on her arm after basketball (Image: GETTY)

After being transferred to another hospital, Helaina saw an oncologist and was delivered the devastating news that she had B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia – a type of blood cancer.

The only signs of Helaina’s illness were the strange dots, otherwise she felt fit and well.

Speaking about her diagnosis, the student said: “I was in disbelief and shock.

“I could have nearly died if I waited a few more hours to go to the doctor.

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She was told she had B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

She was told she had B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (Image: GETTY)

“The doctor in the ER said I was extremely lucky I hadn’t played basketball [since that day] because I could have easily suffered a brain bleed or internal bleeding.

“I never in a million years could think something like this could happen to anyone in my life let alone myself.”

Helaina has immediately started treatment with blood transfusions and chemotherapy.

She currently receives the treatments every 10 days.

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Helaina said ‘I could have nearly died if I waited a few more hours’

Helaina said ‘I could have nearly died if I waited a few more hours’ (Image: GETTY)

In spite of the health scare, Helaina wanted to share her story in the hopes of raising awareness.

She told the Mirror: “I wanted to show it’s possible to try to keep a positive spin on things no matter how bleak things may seem.

“I received lots of different reactions.

“I unintentionally scared some people -and worried some that their spots might be cancer and they reached out to me with questions.

“But I also received so many nice supportive messages and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Around 790 people diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in the UK every year

Around 790 people diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in the UK every year (Image: EXPRESS)

B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia is a type of blood cancer which starts from white blood cells called lymphocytes in the bone marrow.

It is a rare type of cancer, with around 790 people diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in the UK each year.

B-Cell ALL is the most common type of the cancer. Around 75 out of every 100 people with the diagnosis experience this type.

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William Murphy

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