I'm sharing my terrifying story after facing a death sentence at 24 – so you don't face what I have | The Sun
A WOMAN who's symptoms were dismissed by doctors several times was eventually diagnosed with an aggressive cancer.
Hannah Bird, 24, was suffering from night sweats, weight loss, rashes and continuous coughing for six months.
She went to the doctor about "three to four times a week" but was repeatedly dismissed.
In March 2022, Hannah was away skiing and started suffering back and chest pain and later caught pneumonia.
After returning, the travel content creator went to see another doctor, who gave her x-ray.
Hannah was quickly diagnosed her with Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) – a type of a blood cancer that affects the immune system.
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"It wasn't a shock – I was relieved to finally have a diagnosis," she explained.
According to the NHS, more than 13,000 people are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma each year – and around a third have DLBCL.
Scans in April 2022 revealed Hannah's tumour took up three-quarters of her lung.
Doctor said the cancer had already reached stage four – meaning it had spread to other parts of her body.
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Studies suggest that overall, two in five of those who have stage four DLBCL don't survive.
Luckily for Hannah, she was accepted onto a clinical trial where she was given immunotherapy non-chemo-invasive drug.
Instead of using chemotherapy, this drug is less invasive, it works by helping the immune system recognise and attack cancer cells.
She said: "At my halfway scan my tumour had shrunk by 80 per cent.
"By September 2022, I had finished chemotherapy all the cancer was gone which was not normal.
"I am the only person in the UK to have all of their non-Hodgkin's cancer gone with chemotherapy alone," she explained.
The young woman from Bristol, England, is now urging people to get a second opinion if they are not satisfied with doctors' diagnosis.
What are the symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may include:
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin.
- Abdominal pain or swelling.
- Chest pain, coughing or trouble breathing.
- Persistent fatigue.
- Night sweats.
- Unexplained weight loss
"I went to the same doctor every single time, I think if I had gone to a different doctor I would have been diagnosed a lot sooner," she explained.
"If you think that something is wrong, request a referral or second opinion by another doctor," she added.
Hannah was cleared to travel on October 2022 and has CT scans every 12 weeks to check for any signs of cancer.
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After not being able to travel for a year, Hannah and her boyfriend Charlie Camper, 23, are completing a travel bucket list.
"The first trip we went to Turkey, it was absolutely amazing and then the second trip we went on was to the arctic circle in January," she added.
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