Rita Ora recently turned 30, but throughout her 20s, the singer says she feared being diagnosed with breast cancer following her mother Vera Sahatciu’s battle with the disease in 2005.
The “How We Do” hitmaker openly stressed about her worries about the illness, telling The Sun how she has developed crippling panic attacks in fear that she would one day be faced with a similar outcome.
In an effort to spread awareness to her fans who may not be as well informed, Ora explained: “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.
“I have done the BRCA test (the hereditary breast cancer test) and the gene test myself and, luckily, I don’t have the gene.”
The “Body” singer-songwriter, who made headlines in November for partying during a pandemic, continued to stress that even though her tests came back negative, she still gets herself checked out twice a year because going through the suffering her mother faced dealing with breast cancer was out of the question.
“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.
"I don’t know if it’s in my head, but it can be a case of a little heartburn and I am like, ‘What is that?’.”
Sahatciu, who was 39 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent a mastectomy in 2005, and while she has never been someone to share the spotlight with her daughter, raising awareness about the illness remains her main priority.
Last year, Ora’s mother appeared on U.K.’s daytime chat show Loose Women to share some insight on life after being informed about her health condition.
"I myself had breast cancer at the age of 39 and my children were small. My son was only seven.
"It was really difficult and moving to another country I couldn’t speak English at all. Back home I was a GP and had a wonderful career.”
While raising Ora and her two siblings, Elena and Don, Sahatciu admits that battling a disease while trying to start a new life in the U.K. proved to be quite the challenge, with chemotherapy and radiotherapy leaving her with little to no energy but to focus her full attention on fighting the disease.
"The journey I had was really tough. At a young age, treatment tends to be more rigorous and prolonged,” she continued.
"When it's diagnosed younger, treatment gets to be more intense and extensive. I had chemotherapy and radiotherapy and a mastectomy.”
Ora currently appears as a judge on The Masked Singer U.K.