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Woman who ate asbestos as a child is fighting rare cancer at 23 – Metro

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Woman who ate asbestos as a child is fighting rare cancer at 23
Danielle’s type of cancer suggests she ate asbestos in her youth (Picture: PA Real Life)

A young woman has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer which usually affects much older male builders.

Danielle Smalley, 23, is mystified by how she was exposed to the deadly substance, reasoning that she must have eaten some of it as a young child.

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She now has to freeze her eggs as she faces ‘hot’ chemotherapy treatment that will leave her infertile.

The client manager from Aldershot, in Hampshire, had never even heard of asbestos until she was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Doctors told Danielle that her variation of the cancer means she must have ingested the banned heat-resistant material in her youth.

Woman who ate asbestos as a child is fighting rare cancer at 23
Danielle with her boyfriend Jack (Picture: PA Real Life)

Both parents, Amanda, 47, and Simon, 51, never knowingly came into contact with asbestos in their work running an alarm fitting business, the Daily Mirror reports.

Which only adds to the mystery of how Danielle came into contact with it.

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‘It takes 20 years to have an effect, I’d have been two or three when I had it. It’s rare in women, rarer at my age. Usually it’s older men in the building trade,’ Danielle said.

‘We looked up my primary school, but didn’t find anything. It’s unlikely we’ll ever find out where the asbestos was.

‘I’ve just been incredibly unlucky.’

Woman who ate asbestos as a child is fighting rare cancer at 23
Danielle has been left scarred from her operation (Picture: PA Real Life)

Only two other similar cases have been reported since 2009, in a condition usually diagnosed in older male builders.

The substance was regularly used on building sites before its total ban in 1999.

Doctors at Frimley Park Hospital, in Surrey, learned her condition after finding tumours behind her bowel.

They thought she was suffering with irritable bowel syndrome at first.

But now, Danielle will have her organs ‘washed’ using revolutionary heated chemotherapy drugs.

Over 3,000 cases of asbestos-related cancer are diagnosed every year.

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