After being diagnosed with breast cancer, YouTuber Tess Christine is using her platform to spread awareness.
The 30-year-old, who is known for her lifestyle content, shared her news in a lengthy video this week.
Christine said the diagnosis, which came at the beginning of March, happened "very suddenly" and took fans inside her health journey thus far in a detailed 18-minute video.
It all started in January when the YouTuber discovered a lump in her left breast. She had been breastfeeding her 10-month-old son, Theo, so she mostly shrugged it off and wasn't too concerned.
When her next menstrual cycle started, though, Christine experienced "throbbing pain" in the same breast and scheduled a doctor's appointment to get it checked out. The YouTuber's doctor initially thought the lump was a cyst, but Christine wasn't so sure.
“I still just had this gut-wrenching feeling that something was wrong and I just kept thinking the worst. And maybe that was because I had Theo, and I was just like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t have cancer. I have this new baby who needs me,'" she said.
The social media influencer, who owns a clothing company called Backyard Roses, asked to have the lump examined, and she soon got a mammogram and a sonogram, followed by a biopsy. Afterwards, Christine was informed that she had a malignant tumor and diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common type of breast cancer.
The 30-year-old opted to get a double mastectomy and partial reconstruction for the time being, and will get additional reconstructive surgery later on. Christine is waiting for next steps for treatment from her oncologist, but the prognosis is encouraging.
"This is something that’s curable for me, and it was the best news I could have gotten out of all of this. ... I’m going to be OK, and I’m just so thankful for that," she said. "I’m on the road to being fully healthy again, which is incredible.”
In an Instagram post, the 30-year-old explained why she felt compelled to share her story.
"This wasn’t something that felt natural bringing to social media as it is probably one of the most personal topics I’ll ever share with you, but I felt that raising awareness to the majority of women that follow me is so important. In doing so, I also hope that if you or a loved one is going through something similar, you feel less alone," she wrote.