AFTER receiving the devastating news that she has an 85 per cent chance of getting cancer, Huntingdon teenager Ellie Stenning-White started her fundraising drive, shaving off her hair.

AFTER receiving the devastating news that she has an 85 per cent chance of getting cancer, Huntingdon teenager Ellie Stenning-White started her fundraising drive, shaving off her hair.

The 18-year-old has been told by doctors that she has inherited a cancer-causing gene and has an 85-per-cent chance of getting breast cancer and a 55-per-cent chance of getting the ovarian form of the disease.

Ellie was tested for the faulty gene after it was discovered her dad, Stuart, 49, was a carrier.

She said: "The test results showed I inherited a faulty gene which, basically, means my chances of getting breast cancer have increased.

"I had the blood test because we discovered my dad had it. His cousin died of breast cancer at 40 and they checked her genetic make-up to see if there was a genetic cause and found the faulty gene, so they contacted her family so they could all be checked.

"I was alright when I found out. I was quite calm. I had been preparing myself for the worst outcome. My sister, Rebecca, who's 20, will get her results this week.

"It has brought us all together as a family. My auntie, my dad's sister, has terminal cancer so it is a really difficult time."

Ellie had to have counselling before she could collect her results and is now facing the possibility of undergoing extreme, preventative surgery.

"The doctors have said I can have preventative surgery, a double mastectomy, and it is something I will definitely consider when I leave university."

Ellie lives with her dad, sister, mum Liz, 47, and younger brother Elliot, 11, in West Street. She has recently completed her A Level studies at Hinchingbrooke School and is planning to go to Newquay College in Cornwall to study zoological conservation.

So far, Ellie has raised £500 for Cancer Research & Genetics UK.

She said: "I hope to raise at least £100-£200 more. I thought if I did something drastic like shave my head I would get more attention and more money! I did it before my sixth form formal too, because I would see more people who would hopefully sponsor me. We went to the Level 2 club in Huntingdon after the formal and they sponsored me £50, which was great."

INFORMATION: For more information about cancer and genetics, visit www.cancerresearchgenetics.co.uk.