Young mother's 'pimple' turns out to be rare form of cancer

Justin Chan

A 20-year-old New Zealand mother who initially didn't think much of a "pimple" on her face later learned that it was actually a rare form of cancer, Yahoo News Australia reports. 

In June, Jorgia Robson, who has a 2-year-old son and now lives in Australia, noticed an inflamed spot on her face that wouldn't stop swelling, her mother, Tricia Kirk, told the news site. 

"One day, she woke up with a pimple just growing bigger and bigger," she said. 

Upon visiting a doctor, Robson was reportedly told that she had a blind pimple —or acne that developed under the surface of her skin — and was given antibiotics. Still, the "pimple" grew to the point where it was larger than the size of a quarter.

To make matters worse, the lump started to give Robson constant migraines, the 20-year-old told Kidspot

"They wouldn't stop, and I had trouble breathing, and my chest and arms began hurting all of a sudden," she said. 

Robson said that by the time the "pimple" had grown into the size of a sausage, a doctor ordered an ultrasound, which, in turn, revealed something far more serious. 

"I got the scan, and they knew immediately that it was abnormal cells," she recalled. 

Robson was ultimately diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis, a rare type of cancer that can damage tissue or result in lesions in various parts of the body. Symptoms of the disease include flaking of the scalp, a raised rash in the groin area, abdomen, back or chest and bumps on the scalp, according to the National Cancer Institute. In Robson's case, scans and bone biopsies showed that the cancer had caused a 3- to 4-centimeter hole in her skull. 

The 20-year-old has since reportedly undergone a craniotomy and cranioplasty, the latter of which involves cutting part of the skull and repairing the hole with plaster. Now she has a dent in her forehead and a scar from the 23 surgery staples she received. 

"[The doctors] told me if it wasn't caught now, the hole in my skull would have penetrated to my brain," Robson said. 

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Although the lump has been removed, doctors have already told Robson there is a chance the cancer might return. She is also scheduled to receive more scans to see if it has spread elsewhere. 

"I've been told it's bound to come back, so I'll need to get follow-up scans every year," she said. 

A GoFundMe has since raised nearly $2,000 for Robson's treatment.