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  1. ITV Report

Surgeons save Sheffield mother's life after "panic attacks" found to be brain tumour

A mother says she's lucky to be alive after being diagnosed with "panic attacks" when she was suffering with a brain tumour.

Catherine Wilcockson, 36, began feeling anxious and exhausted in December last year, and was prescribed antidepressants.

She had her medication increased because it was having little effect on her symptoms.

Then in May, she collapsed with a seizure at home. Her daughters raised the alarm and she was rushed to hospital where a CT scan found she had a brain tumour the size of an apple.

The teaching assistant from Sheffield has undergone surgery and a course of radiotherapy, which has been successful,

But she says that she has had a personality change, and has been warned by surgeons that the tumour is likely to return. She is now due to undergo a course of chemotherapy.

Doctors say she could have had the tumour for 20 years.

I went to my GP in January and I explained the situation to her and she said "I think you've got something called derealisation."

"She gave me some [antidepressants] tablets and increased the dosage but I was still having episodes.

''After what I've been through, I'd advise others to get somebody to fully investigate into how they're feeling."

– Catherine Wilcockson - brain tumour patient

Catherine's now working with the charity Brain Tumour Research to encourage people to push for medical tests if they feel something is wrong.

And she's urging people who experience panic attacks to 'fully investigate' their symptoms,

She said: "When I saw the tumour, on a screen it looked about the size of an apple.

"My tumour is treatable, but it can grow back. But hopefully if it grows back in five or ten years there will be new solutions that they can use and I think it's really important that money is raised for Brain Tumour Research."