Woman Diagnosed With Stage 4 Cancer At 22 Reveals The Silent Symptom You Shouldn't Ignore

By Editorial Staff in Health and Fitness On 11th June 2024

A woman diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at 22 has shared an unusual symptom to watch out for.

Mariena Browning from Pocatello, Idaho, was diagnosed with melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

Surprisingly, she didn't have the the symptoms which are usually seen.

Typically, melanoma signs include a new mole or changes in an existing one.

But Mariena didn’t have this common type of symptom, which is very rare but possible.

Mariena wasn't someone you would expect to be at a high chance of having a problem.

Risk factors for melanoma include family history, lifestyle choices like smoking, not using sunscreen, and using tanning beds.

Doctors only diagnosed Mariena when they found another symptom; a lump in her groin, which turned out to be malignant.

Instagram / marienabrowning
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Because her condition was skin cancer, she was initially diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, indicating it had begun to spread.

Skin cancer can often be treated if caught early.

Unfortunately, because Mariena’s melanoma didn’t show the typical signs, she had to go through a series of tough treatments.

Sharing her experience, Mariena encouraged people to take simple steps to catch cancer early if it happens. 

Instagram / marienabrowning

She told Self magazine:

"Now that I know how crappy and intense melanoma and its treatment can be, I’m a huge advocate for sun safety, sunscreen use and yearly skin checks with a dermatologist, even though mine didn't show up in the more traditional way."

Sadly, Mariena found out she had stage 4 cancer, which is a serious kind. Usually, eight out of ten people with this cancer don't live more than five years.

She had to get lots of tough treatments.

The treatments had bad effects, like liver problems that made my eyes turn yellow due to jaundice and taking steroids made me feel really mad and hungry.

She also faced a "claustrophobic" radiation therapy course after the cancer spread to her brain.

Now, six years after her initial diagnosis, Mariena has made an amazing recovery and stopped treatment altogether in 2021. 

Since then, she has moved into a whole new chapter of her life.

Instagram / marienabrowning

She’s become a mom, embracing all the joys and challenges that come with it.

Her journey has been tough, but seeing her healthy and happy today is truly inspiring.

In an Instagram post in 2021 about her journey, she wrote: "I'd still love more than anything to spread Melanoma Awareness and help women know that even though sometimes your world gets flipped upside down.

"It's still possible to find the happy and as my grandpa always says 'keep smiling' even when it feels like life isn't fair or you're so far behind everyone else."