Real Housewives of Orange County star Tamra judge announced that she has skin cancer in a heart-breaking Instagram post on Sunday (27 August), with the 49-year-old being praised for raising awareness by some of her 1.2m followers.

The reality star took to social media to announce she had the disease in a mirror selfie taken in a bedroom as she wore a back to front black baseball cap showing what appears to be a black freckle on her buttocks.

She captioned the shot: "I work out hard for this Booty. I was planning on competing again in November at 50 years old, but I'm not sure that's happening now. it looks like God has a different plan for me.

"Im showing you this picture because this is what melanoma looks like. I don't want sympathy, I want you to save YOUR ass and get your skin checked . This was just a small black flat freckle.... I had no idea! Ill be fine because my faith is strong and my Ass ain't bad either Thank you @cacoastalderm ❤️.

"I've been a little sad , worried and pissed off. But we caught it early and that makes me happy Happy birthday to me. #saveyourass birthday party in Cabo not sounding like a good idea now " she added.

The star has been widely praised for her latest post, with one follower telling her: "I'm so glad you are going public with this. As a Stage 3b warrior we need all the help we can in raising awareness. You've got this xx".

Another said: "God is not finished with you @tamrajudge you caught it, will deal with it and probably save some lives. Thanks for sharing your story! Prayers for you!!"

As a third put: "Oh Tamra! I'm so sorry! I am a melanoma survivor-- diagnosed with it at 24 years old right before my wedding! Thank you for being a voice about the severity of it!!! Prayers for a successful surgery and recovery. Please keep us updated!"

Tamra, who has been married to businessman Eddie Judge since 2013, has been a cast member since season three of the Real Housewives of Orange County, and has been a volatile member from the start.

tamra judge
Tamra Judge Getty