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‘Fit and healthy’ mother, 24, who assumed she had piles from giving birth dies of bowel cancer

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A young mother who thought she had piles from giving birth has died from bowel cancer.

Mia Brehme, from Leigh, Greater Manchester, was just 23 when she was given the devastating diagnosis this summer. 

She had suffered sporadic anal bleeding since having three-year-old Kyla-Mae. 

Mia presumed her bleeding was a result of her giving birth years earlier, given how common piles are in new mothers. 

Piles themselves usually disappear within days of giving birth, the NHS says. Some can last for several months, however.

Mia’s bowel cancer was only caught after she was referred for follow-up tests when she began suffering tiredness, nausea, diarrhoea and constipation — tell-tale signs of the disease.

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Mia Brehme, from Leigh, Greater Manchester, was just 23 when she was given the devastating diagnosis earlier this year (pictured with her daughter Kyla-Mae)

Tests showed it was stage four, the most advanced phase. 

Mia passed away last month, aged 24, four months after being diagnosed. 

Discussing her younger sister’s death, heartbroken Alicia, 28, said her diagnosis was ‘a huge shock’.

She said: ‘She was a fit and healthy young mum, and it just didn’t seem true. 

‘Mia didn’t want to know the details, she wanted to remain positive and be around for as long as she could for her little girl.’

Alicia, who will take care of Kyla-Mae, added: ‘Mia and I did everything together, I saw her every day. I was with her all through her pregnancy and I was her birthing partner.

‘It was Mia’s dying wish for me to raise Kyla and I will make her proud. Kyla looks just like her mummy and it’s a comfort to me that her mummy lives on through her.

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She had suffered sporadic anal bleeding since having Kyla-Mae, now three. However, Mia presumed her bleeding was caused by giving birth, with piles being extremely common in new mothers

She had suffered sporadic anal bleeding since having Kyla-Mae, now three. However, Mia presumed her bleeding was caused by giving birth, with piles being extremely common in new mothers

Her bowel cancer was only caught after she was referred for follow-up tests, when she began suffering tiredness, nausea, diarrhoea and constipation — tell-tale signs of the disease (Mia is pictured with Kyla-Mae)

Her bowel cancer was only caught after she was referred for follow-up tests, when she began suffering tiredness, nausea, diarrhoea and constipation — tell-tale signs of the disease (Mia is pictured with Kyla-Mae) 

‘We never for a minute thought that Mia’s symptoms could be anything so serious, because she was a healthy young mum. I hope, in her name, young people will get checked out, and lives will be saved.’

Alicia and Mia were close as children, and their bond was strengthened after the death of their mother, Joanne, 43, eight years ago, also from cancer.

Mother-of-two Alicia said: ‘Losing mum was hard and Mia and I relied on each other. We spent every day together.

‘Mia was like a second mum to my two sons. When she fell pregnant herself, she moved in with me, until her daughter was born.

‘She was a brilliant mother, absolutely devoted to her little girl. Mia was sassy and outspoken, and Kyla is just the same, she is such a character.’

In June 2023, Mia saw her GP, complaining of bleeding from her back passage.

Alicia says: ‘It turned out she’d been bleeding on and off since having Kyla, but she just presumed she had piles from giving birth, which is not unusual.

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‘She got some cream from the chemist, and they seemed to clear up. The bleeding was on and off.’

Mia passed away last month, four months after being diagnosed. Pictured with Kyla-Mae in hospital

Mia passed away last month, four months after being diagnosed. Pictured with Kyla-Mae in hospital

Alicia (her sister) and Mia were close as children, and their bond was strengthened after the death of their mother, Joanne, 43, eight years ago, also from cancer

Alicia (her sister) and Mia were close as children, and their bond was strengthened after the death of their mother, Joanne, 43, eight years ago, also from cancer

Follow-up tests — sparked by her additional symptoms — showed her disease was stage four. 

It means the disease has already spread to other parts of the body.

There are almost 43,000 bowel cancer diagnoses and 16,800 deaths each year in the UK. Symptoms can be hard to spot. 

More than nine out of ten new cases (94 per cent) are diagnosed in people over the age of 50 but bowel cancer can affect anyone of any age.

Bowel cancer is cancer that starts in the large bowel (colon) and the back passage (rectum). 

Alicia said: ‘She authorised for me to get the updates on her condition instead. That was very hard, because I knew she was terminally ill, and she didn’t.

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‘I was visiting her every day, trying to be upbeat, knowing I was going to lose her.’

Mia underwent chemotherapy which did not help, before being admitted to Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

Bowel cancer can cause you to have blood in your poo, a change in bowel habit, a lump inside your bowel which can cause an obstructions. Some people also suffer with weight loss as a result of these symptoms

Bowel cancer can cause you to have blood in your poo, a change in bowel habit, a lump inside your bowel which can cause an obstructions. Some people also suffer with weight loss as a result of these symptoms

Alicia said: ‘Mia celebrated her 24th birthday in the hospice, on September 27. Less than one month later, she was dead.

‘It was so fast. Cancer spreads very quickly in young people, which I was not aware of. She deteriorated quickly, and I spent every day at the hospice.

‘We had lots of plans to make memories, for Kyla, but in the end, there was no time. Mia asked me to bring Kyla up, with help from her daddy.

‘I was with her when she passed away, and my heart broke. I feel like a part of me has gone too.

‘Kyla knows her own mind, just like her mum. She keeps asking if she can go and see her princess mummy in the sky, and she has a locket, with Mia’s photo inside, which she kisses.

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‘In Mia’s memory, I would like to raise awareness of this killer disease, especially in young people. If you have symptoms, no matter how minor they seem, please get checked. It could save your life.’

gofundme.com – in memory of mia brehme 

Source: Daily Mail

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