Health and Fitness

On the advice of her hairdresser, a woman consults and discovers that she suffers from a rare cancer

On the advice of her hairdresser, a woman consults and discovers that she suffers from a rare cancer

A 47-year-old Australian woman thought she had a simple cyst on her head for 20 years… Thanks to her hairdresser who advised her to consult, she is today a survivor of a very rare cancer.

At 47, Kylie Barlett is a mother of 4 children, actress and model who changes her hairstyle as well as her shirt, addicted to wigs as she shows on her Instagram account @thewigandi. But this hair coquetry hides a much more tragic story which could have been fatal to him. Because Kylie Barlett didn’t know it, but for more than 20 years, she carried a rare cancer on the top of her head, as reported The Sun.

Saved somehow by her hairdresser

At the beginning of the 2000s, the young woman noticed a bump on her head. She consults immediately, but the doctor then rules out any harmful cause. To him it is simply a harmless lump, like a cyst. This is not the opinion of the hairdresser who takes care of her 20 years later, and who encourages Kylie to ask for a new opinion. The doctor consulted, more concerned, scheduled an ultrasound and a biopsy, and the diagnosis came abruptly: Kylie suffered from dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP), a rare soft tissue cancer that had not been treated for two decades.

The need to reconstruct the skull

DFSP are cancers that grow slowly and rarely spread beyond the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic, so people can live for many years. However, the roots of the cancer can penetrate deep into the skin and therefore its removal may require reconstructive surgery. The growths usually appear on the arms, legs, and trunk and may initially look like a pimple or rough skin.

In Kylie’s case, the urgent operation was also extensive and invasive: surgeons had to remove the cancerous mass and reconstruct her head using the muscles from her back. A skin graft (taken from his leg) was also performed. A period she experienced, torn by fear “I was so scared because this operation had significant risks. I was just terrified and afraid that I wouldn’t make it and never see my children again.”

She regains a taste for life thanks to wigs

Happy to have survived the operation, and after a convalescence complicated by muscle and skin grafts, Kylie Barlett must face another obstacle in her reconstruction:

“I will be bald forever because all the hair follicles were removed when they ripped off my scalp.”

Well surrounded, she accepts a friend’s suggestion to try on wigs: “I laughed and laughed, it was the first real laugh I’d had in months; my life had become so serious. I decided that if I had to wear wigs, I would wear a different one every day “. Alternately brunette, blonde or redhead, today she no longer hides anything about her illness, nor her new hair styles. But his message is deeper:

“I want people to know the importance of getting any lumps checked out and getting a second opinion. Detecting the cancer then saved my life.”

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A post shared by The Wig and I – Kylie (@thewigandi)

Skin cancers: what are the signs that should alert you?

Symptoms of DFSP can vary depending on the size and location of the tumor, says Sarcoma UK. In addition, or one or more of these symptoms should prompt you to consult:

  • A slow-growing, often painless bump under the skin;
  • A deep scar or pimple on the skin that can easily crack or bleed;
  • A bump on which the skin is soft and indented;
  • Skin that is pink to brown in color and can sometimes appear shades of purple (it may look like a bruise).

Also remember that moles must be observed using the ABCDE method. And take you to the doctors in the event of a change in these criteria:

  • A for asymmetry, if the two halves of the area may differ in shape or color;
  • B for borders, if the edges of the area may be irregular or blurred, and sometimes have notches;
  • C for colors, if several different shades of black, brown and pink can be seen;
  • D for diameter. Most melanomas are at least 6 mm in diameter. Report any changes in size, shape, or diameter to your doctor;
  • E for evolution – if you notice gradual changes in size, shape or color over weeks or months, you should seek expert help.

Finally, two most common types of skin cancer other than melanoma, basal cell cancer and squamous cell carcinoma, should also be monitored:

Signs of CBC include:

  • A smooth, pearly skin growth;
  • A waxy appearance;
  • A firm, red lump;
  • Sometimes bleeding;
  • A scab that never completely heals;
  • Itches.

Signs of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) include:

  • A bump on the skin that may appear scaly;
  • Rough, raised skin;
  • A tender appearance to the touch;
  • Occasional bleeding.

More broadly, in the event of prolonged skin symptoms or a change in an aspect of the skin, it is better to consult a health professional.