A young woman who first dismissed a ‘pimple’ on her skin was devastated when she was diagnosed with a rare cancer after the lump grew to the size of her fist.
Paige McKenzie, 28, first noticed the pimple on her left shoulder in January this year, but decided to get it checked when it became painful and started growing.
The personal trainer was left desperate for answers for eight months as medics struggled to understand what the growth was, finally diagnosing her with Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP) earlier this month.
The rare form of skin cancer, which only affects one to five people in every million has left Paige unable to work due to the pain, who is now fundraising to have the unsightly lump surgically removed before it spreads.
Paige, of Bilston, West Mids., said: “It looked like a little boil or pimple at first and when it started to grow I thought it might be a keloid scar from my tattoo because I’d had one of those before.
“Then the pain came out of nowhere and it was horrible.
“I was in so much agony I could barely sleep and I had a constant sharp throbbing pain.
“It kept growing to the point it was the same size as my fist coming out of my shoulder.”
After her first GP appointment in March was cancelled due to lockdown restrictions, the PT went to her local walk-in centre where medics assured her the lump was just a cyst and would need to have it drained at the hospital.
But after turning up to A&E, doctors told Paige, who has no kids, they were unable to do anything until they had established exactly what the mass was.
Over the course of various appointments, Paige had ultrasounds, x-rays and blood tests but nothing was able to determine what was causing her pain until she finally decided to go for a private biopsy in August.
Now doctors have warned the devastated sunseeker that she needs to have the mass surgically removed as soon as possible – but it will cost her £10,000 if she wants to have it done privately and skip NHS waiting times.
Paige said: “When they told me it was cancer I was in shock, I couldn’t believe that something that started as small as a pimple would turn out to be something so dangerous.
“I need to have the surgery as soon as I can before it spreads but also so that I can recover as soon as possible and get back into training.
“It’s massively affecting my livelihood because the pain stopped me from being able to exercise and it will be the same while I’m recovering post-op.
“I never expected this would happen to me in my life.”
Paige has now set up a GoFundMe to raise the £10,000 needed for surgery to donate go to – https://uk.gf.me/v/c/gfm/help-paige-fight-cancer