Friday, 30 October 2015

Woman loses half her skull to five brain tumours

Katherine Dance, 42, from Binfield, Berkshire, found a bump on her head in October last year while she was working as a diving instructor in Greece.

She believed she had knocked her head scuba diving, and thought nothing of it.

Then, while visiting friends and family in the UK, she went for an eye test. There, the optometrist noticed she had an 'incomplete blink', where the top eyelid doesn’t meet the lower half of the eye.

They told her this may be due to a thyroid problem, and advised her to have blood tests, which she did when she returned to Greece.

But after seeing the results, doctors immediately referred her for CT and MRI scans.

Mrs Dance was stunned to be told she had five brain tumours, one of which was cancerous and had grown so large it was expanding outside her skull.


However, Mrs Dance suffered a stroke immediately after the operation and was left with memory loss, struggling to talk, blind in her left eye and unable to move the left-hand side of her body.

Now, she is recovering, re-learning to walk and talk again with the help of her husband, Jason, 45.

'You could definitely say it came as a surprise to be diagnosed with five brain tumours completely out of the blue.

'My life has been turned upside down, all my independence has been lost, and it will take
me years to rebuild my life again.'

'If the tumours had not been found so early, the first I would have known about it could have been as a seizure.

'If this were to have happened whilst I was teaching underwater, it could have well proved to have been fatal.'

Meanwhile, doctors say they can print a 3-D skull to replace the part they cut out.

Brain tumours cause symptoms for two reasons: Firstly, because they take up space inside the skull as they grow. Secondly, they can cause specific symptoms due to their position in the brain.

The most common symptoms of a brain tumour are:

Eye problems
Changes in personality
Difficulty walking
Hearing voices
It is important to remember that there are many other causes for the symptoms mentioned above.
People worried about a brain tumour should visit their doctor.
They will send them to a specialist if there is any possibility they could have a brain tumour.
 Source: Cancer Research UK

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