Rita Ora suffered crippling panic attacks amid fears of a breast cancer diagnosis.
The 30-year-old “Girls” singer has spent years worrying about her health after her mother, Vera, battled cancer in 2005 and underwent a partial mastectomy.
Rita, who has taken the BRCA (hereditary breast cancer) test and does not have the gene that supports the spread of the disease, has revealed she still has regular check-ups and mammograms to make sure she’s OK.
“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,” Rita tells The Sun on Sunday. “I have done the BRCA 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. There are loads of tutorials online which I have used. You have to be aware of your body. But you can also call your GP to ask. There are loads of ways of accessing the information.”
“Scans in the UK have dropped 80 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.”
Rita went on to explain her health concerns have prompted panic attacks.
“Growing up… I didn’t know what a panic attack was. I don’t think a lot of teenagers realise what they are,” Ora explains. “You can’t breathe, your chest feels tight, you lose your vision – you go into a wormhole and this comes from personal experiences. 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.”