British singing sensation Rita Ora has revealed that she had a breast cancer scare when she was younger, and that the close call has caused her to obsessively check for signs that she has the disease.
The six-time Brit award nominee also revealed that the experience of caring for her sick mother with breast cancer had caused her to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It comes as, around the world, screening for cancer has dropped to lower levels than normal, with the coronavirus pandemic keeping many people away from hospitals and health clinics.
Ora — who failed to self-isolate upon returning from a trip in Egypt and then breached Britain’s lockdown rules for the second time after she threw a birthday party in London — spoke for the first time about her breast cancer history to The Sun.
Ms Ora, 30, said she wanted to use the media spotlight to encourage other women to get screened for breast cancer.
“Scans in the UK have dropped eighty per cent since Covid struck, and a million women haven’t had any check-ups,” she told . The Sun
“The backlog of cancer treatment is crazy. And some people are too afraid to go to hospital, which is totally understandable, but you have to go and get checked.”
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Rita Ora got into trouble with police earlier this month after hosting a birthday party, despite England being in a Tier 4 lockdown. Source:Instagram
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Ms Ora’s mum Vera was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. Just a teenager, Ms Ora acted as her mother’s carer and she developed PTSD and panic attacks during that time.
The breast cancer was aggressive and Vera needed a partial mastectomy as well as undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, had a partial mastectomy.
“Cancer affects everyone. My mum battled it twice, and I had a lot of different emotions,” Ora said. “I felt a lot of responsibility to step up and become a strong teenager. I wanted to protect my mother.”
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She had a tough childhood, caring her sick mother.
Picture: Tim P. Whitby/Getty
The singer was born in Kosovo
and moved to London as a baby.
Picture: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Source:
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The pop star admitted that her mother’s experience caused her to obsess over having breast cancer, causing her to have her first test — the BRCA test, or the hereditary breast cancer test.
However, results showed she didn’t carry the gene. This was a small comfort though, given that her mother didn’t carry the gene either but had still had cancer.
“I still check myself regularly. Genetically, there was no history of breast cancer in my family before my mother, but she still got it,” she said.
Ora is also cautious of lumps. Her mother never got any lumps on her breasts, even though this is the main way health experts push women into screening for cancer.
“I see these things saying check yourself for lumps but my mother didn’t have a lump she had a sharp pain, and she still went and got checked,” she said.
The singer told media she watches a lot of videos and tutorials online to stay vigilant with checking herself for signs of cancer.
“There are loads of tutorials online which I have used,” she said.