Dad mistook brain tumour symptoms for a blocked nose – other signs

Brain tumour: Cancer Research UK on 'different types' in 2017

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A dad who believed he was simply suffering from a blocked nose was “shocked” to learn he actually had an incurable brain tumour. Kevin Pemberton went to his GP as he was struggling with a bunged up nose and blocked sinuses. Despite being prescribed a nasal spray his symptoms didn’t get any better and eventually he went for an MRI scan.

The 41-year-old told SWNS: “The doctor gave me nasal spray to treat my blocked sinuses and medication, but nothing helped.

“When my symptoms didn’t improve, I had a private MRI scan through my work in April 2019 and was shocked to be told I had a tumour on my brain.”

The scan revealed an “abnormal lesion” on the brain and two weeks later the lesion was confirmed to be a brain tumour.

Accountant Kevin, from Wolverhampton, had a five-hour operation to remove the mass on his brain.

However, following the surgery doctors discovered the tumour was an incurable grade three anaplastic astrocytoma – a malignant brain tumour which can spread to other parts of the brain.

The dad-of-two started a six week course of radiotherapy in May 2019, followed up by 12 cycles of chemotherapy in June 2020.

Kevin went on to have chemotherapy, radiotherapy and debulking surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible.

Speaking about the moment he was diagnosed, he said: “I was flabbergasted and couldn’t process the fact that there was no cure for my illness.

“My world fell apart and when I returned home I had a panic attack. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me.

“To hear the word cancer was a shock once again.

“I received a letter detailing my treatment and read the word incurable and from then I struggled to sleep and eat.”

Kevin went back to work in July 2020, which provided normality and distraction.

He now has scans every six months to check if the mass has grown back.

And alongside his wife Michelle, 41, and their two daughters Jasmine, 14 and Sofia, nine, he has raised almost £10,000 for Brain Tumour Research.

“Working helped take my mind off my diagnosis and kept me active,” Kevin said.

“I wanted to be as proactive as I could which led all four of us to fundraise for Brain Tumour Research.

“We were very open as a family, speaking about the cancer, and taking on different activities as a family brought us closer and helped us deal with the disease.”

According to the NHS the most common symptoms of a brain tumour are:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures (fits)
  • Persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness
  • Mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality
  • Progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
  • Vision or speech problems.

“Sometimes you may not have any symptoms to begin with, or they may develop very slowly over time,” the health service says.

If you think you could have symptoms of a brain tumour you should see your GP.

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