Woman with back pain actually suffering deadly disease

Josh Dutton
News Reporter

Sabrina Jansz, 32, a sports broadcaster, was working in Townsville in 2015 covering the National Basketball League when she began suffering from back pain.

She told Yahoo7 she didn’t think anything of it.

“We thought it was because of me lifting heavy camera bags,” Ms Jansz said.

“I was also on the road a lot and sleeping in lots of different beds and thought that may have been a cause.”

Melbourne woman Sabrina Jansz was diagnosed with cancer after suffering a bad back in 2015. Here she is pictured in New York before her diagnosis. Source: Supplied

The then 29-year-old went to a physiotherapist but that didn’t help. Neither did a visit to the osteopath who she said told her “something’s wrong”.

“I drank a cup of Milo and got a bloated stomach,” she said.

“I couldn’t put shirts on properly. My friend Shane told me, ‘that’s really odd’.”

The Melbourne resident took a blood test. There was concern cancer was in her ovaries but it was later determined to be in her lungs.

“I’ve never smoked in my life, so there was no cause, I just got it,” she said.

The sports broadcaster (pictured at the Australian Open) thought she had a bad back due to carrying camera equipment. Source: Supplied

Ms Jansz took medication for a year to kill the cancer in her lungs, but it spread to her spine and brain.

“I thought, ‘that’s a kick in the guys because everything was going to so well’,” she said.

She then began taking Lorlatinib, an experimental drug, to remove the cells from her brain and spine. The drug was developed by American pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

Ms Jansz suffered bloating before her diagnosis (left) and (right) receiving treatment in 2016. Source: Supplied

Ms Jansz said it has side effects though – she currently suffers from high cholesterol meaning she’s gained 20kg. It also led to fluid retention in her hands and feet.

However, according to Ms Jansz the cancer cells have shrunk.

“Initially, I had six tumours in my brain but now I only have one and it’s three millimetres,” she said.

“I’ve still got some in my hip, which unfortunately, I fractured doing yoga or at the gym but I’m undergoing radiation treatment. Those cancer cells are also reducing.”

Despite fighting the deadly illness for more than three years now, Ms Jansz has remained optimistic throughout the ordeal. She said there was no point in dwelling, but simply looking for a solution to a problem she couldn’t control.

“Don’t give up hope,” she said.

“I’ve met people who get in this stage of hopelessness and they ask, ‘why me?’

“There’s always hope. You’ve just got to go with the flow. There are doctors, new treatments and drugs being developed.

“We’ve just got to put effort into research and fundraising because everything we do helps.”

Pfizer said it was unable to comment on the drug trial.

If you wish to donate to cancer research, you can by visiting the Cancer Council’s website

The Melbourne woman in hospital in 2015 with friends. Source: Supplied