Mum who heard clicking sound hit with ‘brutal’ brain tumour diagnosis

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

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Cancer is a relentless condition that can manifest in a plethora of ways. Oftentimes, however, presentations are misleading. In one woman’s case, a recent course of botox was thought to be responsible for her facial swelling. Much to her dismay, a 10-year-old brain tumour was found to be the real cause.

Jill Kenton said she was shocked to find out that her face swelling was caused by a low-grade tumour after moving out of the city in 2021.

The mother had just moved to the countryside when she received news that she’d need extensive surgery to overcome the deadly condition. 

The 52-year-old, from Bedfordshire, said: “I began to notice a slight swelling to the side of my left eye and honestly thought it was probably down to some botox treatment I’d had a few months before. As it turned out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.”

Jill was diagnosed with a left sphenoid wing intraosseous meningioma after noticing dryness in one of her eyes, and a clicking sound that she could hear through her earphones.

This condition describes a slow-growing tumour, that expands inside the intracranial space and spreads to the orbit.

It is often characterised by lesions that are symptomatic, but neurological symptoms may occur depending on the size and location of the malignancy.

“It turned out I had a brain tumour which was six by five centimetres and was growing behind my eye brushing the optical nerve as it pushed through my skull,” noted Jill.

“I was told this rare form of brain tumour, a left sphenoid wing intra-osseous meningioma has been there for 10 years.

“Mercifully it was slow growing but I needed surgery and it was going to be brutal.”

Jill was told the procedure would involve an incision spanning from one ear to the other, so that part of the skull could be removed.

She added: “As part of the construction required, a plate would be fitted to cover my skull and my eye socket would be rebuilt with bone from another part of my head.

“They would endeavour to save my sight but there was no guarantee.”

The ordeal, which happened last November, left Jill in fear that she wouldn’t survive Christmas, but she remains positive this year after getting extensive surgery.

Are clicking sounds a common feature of cancer?

Often, unusual sounds that persist in both ears are caused by tinnitus.

The condition is often described as a ringing sound in the ear, but it can also resemble a roaring, clicking, buzzing sound.

Tinnitus and dizziness are two recognised symptoms of some types of brain tumours and are often deemed indirect symptoms of tumours.

Instead, the most common symptoms of brain tumours tend to be persistent headaches, nausea, vision and speech problems, according to the NHS.

Is brain cancer preventable?

Unfortunately, there is no certain way of preventing a brain tumour, but avoiding environmental hazards may protect the organ to some degree.

The Cleveland Clinic cautions against risky behaviours like smoking and exposure to excessive radiation.

The addition of an overall healthy dietary pattern could potentially lower the risk of cancer by a further 10 to 20 percent, experts believe.

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