A STUDENT sent home from hospital with “depression” when she actually had a life-threatening brain tumour is urging youngsters to spot the signs of the deadly disease.
Megan Thompson, then 18, was told she was suffering from depression and was homesick when she attended a hospital in Yorkshire, where she was studying.
The teenager suffered painful headaches during the first year of her childhood studies course at Leeds Metropolitan University.
It took Megan, 20, two months and repeated trips to the hospital before medics discovered a golf ball-sized tumour in her brain.
The student, who was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumour and weeks of gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
As figures released today by the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) reveal many youngsters suffering with cancer are being sent home after being told they have a sports injury or depression, Megan is urging youngsters to know the signs of cancer.
Megan, of Fulwell, said: “I started to get the most horrendous headaches and I couldn’t walk properly. It was then that I knew something was desperately wrong.
“I couldn’t cut my food up and I couldn’t hold a glass of water in my left hand. Every time I went to the doctors they told me I was stressed or partying too hard.
“They dismissed it and said I was homesick.
“Between first going and being diagnosed, it took two months. You rely so much on these people to be able to know what’s wrong and to be able to diagnose you.
“It was December 16 when I had a scan and two days later I was having an operation to remove the tumour.
“It was very quick for the operation but it took so long to diagnose.
“It’s so important that people keep a check out and make sure that they are alive to the signs. It can save lives.”
Megan underwent 12 weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy but suffered a reaction to the treatment, meaning she had to be put on a course of steroids.
A side-effect led to her bones being damaged and she was forced to undergo a hip replacement.
But brave Megan has battled through and after being inspired by the care she was given during her treatment is hoping to help others.
In October, she will start an oncology course at York University.