A woman has told how her new hair extensions saved her life by helping her detect breast cancer.
Laura Larkin, 25, was running her fingers through her 18in locks when she felt a hard lump in her right boob.
Laura said: “The lump was in a weird place under my breast, it’s not really somewhere that I would have felt it ordinarily if I wasn’t playing with my hair.
“Considering I was booked in for a lumpectomy within a week of them diagnosing me with cancer and it had already progressed to stage three, it’s scary to think what could have happened to me if I hadn’t found it when I did.
“I literally rang my hairdresser and told her my hair extensions had saved my life.”
Laura, from Livingston, West Lothian, loved the thickness and length that hair extensions gave her, so she regularly had them put in for about two years.
In early 2018, she had a new set put in at WeaveDiva salon in Bathgate.
She had just showered and was running her fingers through her hair when she felt the lump.
Laura said: “My hair extensions at the time were really lovely and were long enough to reach the bottom of my boobs.
“I’d just got out of the shower and I was running my fingers through my hair when I reached the ends of them and brushed past my breast. I felt this really hard lump which I had never noticed before at the bottom of my right breast.”
She went to her GP two days later and a biopsy followed.
Laura, a recruitment consultant, said: “I was in complete shock, I was only 23 – how could this be happening to me?”
Doctors removed a 9mm lump and hoped she was clear of cancer, but a year later some more lumps were found.
Laura said: “I was in total shock. I thought I’d beaten cancer, the mammograms were coming back clear. I felt this lump and my heart just stopped.
“I knew the cancer was back.”
Gene tests revealed she was carrying the BRCA2 gene, commonly known as the breast cancer gene.
She decided to have a single mastectomy last month.