YouTuber Tess Christine opens up about her breast cancer diagnosis at age 30.
The New York-based beauty and lifestyle vlogger, who gave birth to her first child Theo last year, shared that she went dark on the video-sharing site for more than a month after having been diagnosed, but is now ready to talk about her journey.
In her new YouTube video on the situationwhich she titled “Life Update, Breast Cancer,” the new mom explained, “I feel like maybe I could have kept you in the dark about this, but I also felt this overwhelming sense of responsibility to raise awareness about this because of the way it happened, and because I have a very large female following on all my social media, and I think it’s important to tell you my story and where I am.
Christine went on to explain that she first suspected something was wrong when she felt pain while breastfeeding Theo. At first she thought it was a blocked milk duct in her left breast, but found that the problem persisted even when she was not producing milk. She sought out a doctor who believed she might have a harmless cyst; however, when she went for further tests, she learned that it was a malignant tumor.
“I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma,” she continued. “After that it was like a blur, but I knew I had to act fast after being diagnosed. I had doctors calling me all the time. I went there and had an MRI, and there were additional findings, which made my heart stop. They thought they found something in the lymph nodes and they saw something in my right breast.
Fortunately, Christine shared that the two were “benign”.
“My right breast is fine and it hasn’t spread to my lymph nodes which was so nice to hear as it was probably the first good news I had received in a few weeks,” he said. she explains.
While it was only necessary to have a single mastectomy, of her left breast, Christine chose to have a double mastectomy to avoid anything showing up with her right breast, and also to be even, because she opted for reconstructive surgery with implants.
While the potential next step in her recovery – which could include chemotherapy – has yet to be determined, the vlogger cried as she shared how grateful she was that her cancer was “curable”.
“I’m so grateful to my doctors and the people who take their time to learn and study this stuff and help people and save lives,” Christine shared. “This experience has been so humbling for me in so many ways, and it all happened so quickly. I think what has helped me through all of this over the past month is the support of my family. , my friends, my amazing husband and Theo. I’m so thankful that he’s healthy. I really focused on that when I got all my calls and all my results. I was like, ‘ I’m so glad it’s not him.’ My heart goes out to mothers going through this with their children, I felt like I could handle it, but I felt like if it was Theo, I would trade places with him.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 5% of breast cancers occur in women under the age of 40. Generally, this cancer can be more aggressive than breast cancer in older patients. Although not always the case, young breast cancer patients are often more likely to have cancer-causing genetic mutations. For these high-risk women, it is recommended to start having regular mammograms at age 25 rather than at age 40.
In addition to telling her story on YouTube, Christine has also took on his Instagram account to share his gratitude with his more than 716,000 followers.
“I feel incredibly lucky with a great team of radiologists, surgeons and oncologists helping me survive this,” she wrote alongside a series of photos that included photos from her time at the hospital. “Not to mention the support of my amazing family and friends who went out of their way to make me feel loved. It wasn’t a natural thing to bring to social media because it’s probably one of the most personal topics I will ever share with you, but I felt it was so important to educate the majority of women who follow me, and in doing so, I also hope that if you or someone close to you is going through something similar , you feel less alone. This has been the toughest year yet, but whatever comes next for me, I’m ready.
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