Rita Ora candidly opens up on breast cancer scare after mum Vera’s diagnosis

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Singing sensation Rita Ora has opened up on her breast cancer scare while urging people to get screened.

The 30 year old pop star went for a genome test to see if she was a carrier after her mother Vera Sahatçiu was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.

Backing The Sun’s Get Checked campaign, Rita told the publication: “I see these things saying check yourself for lumps but my mother didn’t have a lump she had a sharp pain, and she still went and got checked.

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“I have done the BRCA test (the hereditary breast cancer test) and the gene test myself and, luckily, I don’t have the gene.

“But I still check myself regularly. Genetically, there was no history of breast cancer in my family before my mother, but she still got it.”

Discussing how people can do thorough checks, Rita continued: “There are loads of tutorials online which I have used. You have to be aware of your body.

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“But you can also call your GP to ask. There are loads of ways of accessing the information.

“Scans in the UK have dropped eighty per cent since Covid struck, and a million women haven’t had any check-ups.

“The backlog of cancer treatment is crazy. And some people are too afraid to go to hospital, which is totally understandable, but you have to go and get checked.”


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Rita’s mum Vera, 56, who works as a psychiatrist with the NHS, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease and she had a partial mastectomy.

Rita’s mum’s heartbreaking battle saw the star experience crippling panic attacks as a teen while supporting her mum.

The Hot Right Now singer continued: “Cancer affects everyone. My mum battled it twice, and I had a lot of different emotions. I felt a lot of responsibility to step up and become a strong teenager. I wanted to protect my mother.

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“Even now, every time my mother has to have a check-up we get reminded of all those feelings of waiting for the result, and the fear factor of it all. Everyone has a way of dealing with their thoughts, and I am a big believer in therapy — certainly it has helped me a lot.

“I also exercise and meditate to try and keep my panic in check.

“My meditation teacher taught me something that always stays with me. It’s five little words: ‘You Are Not Your Thoughts’.

“It is very simple but it is something I have always thought about if I ever get into a state of worry. I repeat it to myself.”

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Rita, who was ‘told of by her parents’ for breaking lockdown rules, also admitted to turning to her music as “a healer” in a bid to help her “breathe again.”

She continued to tell The Sun: “I found music is a healer and I think I’ve gone through a lot to make sure I don’t get to that phase of feeling like I can’t breathe again.

“Aromatherapy, therapy in general, exercise, meditation and ­getting checked, giving yourself the peace of mind — these all help me stay calm now."

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