Woman, 26, diagnosed with cancer after experiencing severe itching
Asia Sharif started to suspect that something was wrong in January when she noticed her lymph nodes were swollen.
A few months after that, the 26-year-old began experiencing such itchy skin that she couldn’t sleep or “live a normal life”.
The NatWest software engineer, who lives in Deansgate, decided to visit her GP but she was put on a waiting list for a needle biopsy, which obtains cells for laboratory testing.
By the time her appointment came around in the summer, Asia’s lymph nodes were so swollen the medic couldn’t insert a needle.
She was now waiting to have surgery to remove them, but she decided to Google her symptoms, when she discovered Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that develops in the lymphatic system.
READ MORE Student, 22, hit with ‘shock’ cancer diagnosis shares the first sign
Asia told the Manchester Evening News: “They suggested I was young and healthy and it was probably something else. But it was sad for me because I already knew. I knew I had lymphoma. I had done loads of research.”
The 26-year-old then decided to book a private appointment to see a head and neck doctor through her employee benefits scheme.
A referral and some tests later, her doctors started hinting towards Hodgkin lymphoma but she still needed to have further tests.
The verbal diagnosis came as a relief to Asia, who knew she would finally get help for her chronic itching.
She said: “The itching was insanity. I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t have a normal life at all for months and months. I had bruises all over my legs and feet were all cut up.
“For me, it was just a relief because I knew I was going to get help after nearly a year. It was a cry of relief, not a cry of sadness. I was just really relieved.”
The software engineer was fortunately given treatment which stopped her itching and reduced the size of her swollen lymph nodes straight away.
She was then started on an ABVD chemotherapy course, which includes four different types of chemotherapy.
- Support fearless journalism
- Read The Daily Express online, advert free
- Get super-fast page loading
Student, 22, hit with ‘shock’ cancer diagnosis shares the first sign[INSIGHT]
New therapy could completely cure a type of blood cancer, study finds[STUDY]
Woman, 41, diagnosed with terminal cancer after spotting pea-sized lump[INSIGHT]
Asia said: “What is happening to me is such a shock. I just need to stay positive; I’m not going to sit here and say chemo is fine.
“When I had my first chemo two weeks ago, it was horrendous. I was nauseous and bedbound for seven days. I couldn’t eat because I had mouth sores. It was just horrendous but the doctors were amazing and they gave me medications to help the side effects.”
Asia also had surgery to remove one of her swollen lymph nodes. She was then transferred to The Christie Private Care.
The doctors initially suggested the 26-year-old’s cancer was at Stage 2, but further tests revealed it was actually Stage 4.
Fortunately, the chemotherapy appears to be working well, leaving Asia hopeful she will be in remission in six months.
She added: “My doctor is confident he can cure this but it’s going to be gruelling.”
Asia also had her head shaved with the help of Hair Reborn charity, which offers free hair styling for people with cancer, and she then donated her hair to Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides free real hair wigs to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer.
“Hopefully, after I beat cancer, I can get myself back on track,” Asia said. “For now, I can stay really positive. I just want young people to push for a diagnosis and listen to their bodies.”
You can donate to Asia’s fundraiser by clicking here.
Source: Read Full Article