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'Let's get rid of it' – brave young woman meets battle with cancer head on

At just 24 years old Te Aroha Isaia got the news no young woman expects to hear. You have breast cancer.

Te Aroha never thought she'd hear the words that she had breast cancer at just 24 years old. Source: 1 NEWS

"Straight away my heart sunk in," says the South Auckland mum of two.

Just two months before she had made an appointment with her GP after she began feeling pain in her left breast.

"I had a really weird feeling in the left breast and it was just really sharp feelings, but it turned into excruciating pain," Te Aroha told 1 NEWS NOW.

While showering one day back in late October 2016, she noticed a lump.

"I started freaking out thinking this doesn't look normal," Te Aroha said.

Her husband Matthew told her to go straight to the GP.

"At this point I didn't have the word cancer in my head and I thought I was way too young."

At this point I didn't have the word cancer in my head and I thought I was way too young. - Te Aroha

After a week went by the lump on Te Aroha's breast grew and her pain increased.

She was then sent to Middlemore Hospital.

It was at Middlemore that doctors discovered a large mass on Te Aroha's breast and she was referred to Auckland City Hospital.

The six weeks Te Aroha waited to be seen by the oncology specialists at Auckland City Hospital were a worrying time for the young mum.

"Those weeks just dragged on for so long. I just kept thinking: 'Is it cancer or is it not?'"

On December 15 2016, on her daughter Bayleigh's third birthday, Te Aroha went to Auckland City Hospital for further blood tests and a mammogram.

The tests revealed that not only did she have a large mass on her breast but another large mass had appeared under her arm.

She then underwent a biopsy to determine what the mass was.

A week later on December 22, the results of the biopsy had returned and Te Aroha was told she had inflammatory breast cancer.

"Straight away my heart sunk in.

"I couldn't hear whatever she was saying - my mind was just elsewhere."

Te Aroha says all she could think about following the diagnosis was her two daughters Azaylia, five, and Bayleigh, three.

"I have two little ones that's the only other thing on my mind.

"I have two little ones; you can't think the worst, you know, you just got to get through it."

I have two little ones; you can’t think the worst, you know, you just got to get through it. - Te Aroha

Te Aroha said her doctors had already set up a treatment plan when they broke the news to her.

"I snapped myself out of it and said 'Cool what do you want to do?'

"Let's talk treatment, I'm ready to go. Let’s get rid of it."

With more chemotherapy, a mastectomy in May, and radiation treatment ahead, Te Aroha says her Christian faith is what makes her confident she'll defeat this.

"I'm not fearful of anything. I just 100 per cent feel like everything is going to be fine.

"It's just the journey I have to go through.

"God has given this to me for a reason."

Since her diagnosis, Te Aroha has set up a blog to chronicle her battle with cancer.

She hopes the blog will also raise awareness for women about the importance of getting their breasts checked no matter their age.

With the help of strangers through the Givealittle page set up by Te Aroha's cousin, the family is making it through this tough time financially while Te Aroha has stopped working to focus on getting better.

We’ll be following her journey here on 1 NEWS NOW and Te Aroha will be providing regular updates.