Popular beauty influencer and celebrity make-up artist, Hrush Achemyan, has shared a brave and candid video about her "silent" battle with cancer over the last few months. The 18 minute-long video, which was shared on YouTube yesterday, is titled 'Putting Rumors to Rest: The Truth About My Silent Battle' and sees Hrush explain that a mass was discovered on her left ovary during an ordinary PAP smear test (also known as a cervical smear test).
Hrush has shared her journey in the hopes it will remind others just how important getting a regular check-up is. In the description of her YouTube video, she writes, "Today I take you along for a procedure at my gynaecologist. It is important for everyone but especially women to get check ups regularly because it could save your life."
She opens the video with a shot of her at home in pyjamas, with her abdomen appearing swollen, and reveals her diagnosis was confirmed as stage 1 ovarian cancer after five biopsies. "Some of you guys think I'm pregnant or something when I'm not – I have something going on," Hrush says, filming herself in a mirror, with the words 'I was in shock and couldn't even say the word cancer out loud' appearing on screen.
Hrush then continues the video by filming her drive to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA where she meets her gynaecologist, Dr Thaïs Aliabadi (who delivered Khloe Kardashian's daughter, True, and who has won Best OBGYN Los Angeles by LA Magazine for six years running).
"I'm on my way to have a small procedure done," she says. "I can't stress enough [how important it is] for you guys to get checked out annually and be in tip top shape, because ovarian cancer is a silent and deadly killer. It doesn't discriminate, it's just... when you find out it's a little too late, but thank you Lord for having this amazing doctor in my life... Today is going to be a challenging day."
Over here in the UK, it's reported that 1.5 million smear test appointments are missed annually and that this number has increased significantly due to the pandemic (as check-ups are either being delayed or patients are choosing not to attend them due to fear of catching COVID-19 from being in a hospital environment).
Speaking to Cosmopolitan UK about it, Imogen Pinnell, health information manager at Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, said if you're one of those whose appointments has been cancelled, that it's best to keep calm. "Even if cell changes are present, they usually develop slowly – over many years, not months – and cervical cancer itself is rare."
If you've been experiencing any symptoms related to a gynaecological cancer, such as bloating, abdominal pain, weight loss, irregular bleeding or unusual discharge, then it's still important that you inform your GP as early as possible.
For more information on specific ovarian cancer symptoms, read here.
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