Brain tumour patient was turned away six times by doctors who told her she had migraines

  • Tianna Davies told ITV News Anglia's Ravneet Nandra about her experiences

A young woman who was misdiagnosed as suffering from migraines on multiple occasions says it was only thanks to a second opinion that she discovered she actually had a brain tumour.

Tianna Davies, 24, had gone to her GP and A&E complaining about severe headaches but was repeatedly told she was suffering from migraines.

However, a private doctor recognised that something was wrong after examining her eyes and diagnosed a grade 3 ependymoma - a rare type of brain tumour that develops from cells that line the passageways containing cerebral spinal fluid.

She was told that major surgery to remove the tumour could leave her paralysed on one side of her body - but it was successful and she has since undergone a series of proton beam therapies to try and kill any remaining cancerous cells.

Ms Davies, a mortgage broker from Northampton, told ITV News Anglia she had been turned away six times before her diagnosis.

She said: "It felt like my brain was on fire. Right on the top of my head, internally it would feel extremely hot, like there was a pickaxe in my brain, or something like that."

Ms Davies' mother Caroline said she found her daughter's diagnosis difficult to accept, adding: "It was total disbelief, a real shock, very traumatic."

Experts say the type of cancer that Ms Davies has can be very difficult to diagnose.

Hugh Adams from Brain Tumour Research, said: "Symptoms aren't straightforward: sometimes it's headaches, but sometimes it's what's called multi-focal symptoms that could affect, taste or sight or fitting or things like that.

"It's really difficult for people to diagnose, but once they are diagnosed it's important, straight away, that they get into the best possible care that they can."

Tianna Davies, with her mother Caroline Davies and father Hector Gregersen who are all raising money for Brain Tumour Research. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Caroline Davies said: "Life shouldn't be taken for granted, I think that's the one thing we have learned."

The family were helped during Ms Davies treatment by Milton Keynes-based charity Brain Tumour Research.

They said they wanted to return the favour by raising money for them during the charity's annual Wear A Hat Day.

Ms Davies said: "However you want it to, it kind of becomes your life.

"For the next 10 years it will be my life. I might be able to do something for someone else by doing all of this [fundraising]."

Ms Davies' father Hector Gregersen said: “It was on 28 March last year that we saw the neurologist, so we’re excited about being to being able to celebrate Wear A Hat Day a year on.”

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “With one in three people knowing someone affected by a brain tumour, Tianna’s story is, sadly, not unique.

"Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours since records began in 2002."

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