Having your ears pierced is a rite of passage for many teenage girls. But for 13-year-old Chloe Carter it has a special significance – for it may have saved her life.
Chloe had studs fitted as a birthday present but a few days later found some small lumps in her neck.
She wouldn't have given them a second thought if she hadn't had her ears pierced, but because of the timing alarm bells rang and she thought the growths might have been an infection caused by her new studs.
She went to see her GP and, after tests, the teenager from Sampford Peverell, Devon, was found to have Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of blood cell cancer.
Chloe said: "I was in a science lesson and I noticed weird little ball-like lumps on my neck.
"I said to my friends and they said it could just be a muscle or something so I didn't tell my mum.
"Then it came up even worse so I eventually said to her a couple of days later and she took me to the doctors."
Doctors explained that the form of the disease affects the lymph nodes, which are found throughout the body but the most common place for it to start is in the neck and then in the chest, under the arms and in the groin.
Chloe started chemotherapy on December 17 and will receive treatment every day until Christmas Eve, when her first course will be complete.
She will continue the next round of treatment after Christmas.
To support their friend, a group of girls from Chloe's class organised to have their hair cut short when she had her head shaved on Sunday, and now other fund-raising activities are planned to support CLIC Sargent and Paediatric Oncology Exeter.
If you would like to donate to Chloe's Teenage Cancer Trust visit