A 24-year-old woman who chalked up her sore throat to tonsillitis says she was stunned to learn it was actually a symptom of a rare blood cancer.
Georgina Masson, from West Sussex in the UK, was prescribed antibiotics for what she believed was an infection in July last year, but — despite the medication — her condition only worsened.
"After a few weeks I still couldn't swallow and I could hardly open my mouth," she told The Mirror.
The drugs didn't appear to be working.
Around the same time, the admin worker also noticed she was losing weight and began suffering from nose bleeds, despite never having them before.
The 24-year-old said she welcomed her slimmer figure before summer and accredited her easy bruising and bleeding to “clumsiness”.
But when she developed a persistent rash, Ms Masson was rushed to Easy Surrey Hospital, where her doctor ran several tests.
In August, a bone marrow transplant led them to diagnose the young woman with acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APML) — a rare subtype of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
'I just thought I had tonsillitis'
Ms Masson told The Mirror she went numb when doctors broke the news.
"I just thought I had tonsillitis — I had no idea it was so much more serious than that. I had to start treatment straight away,” she said, revealing her dad died from cancer when she was just 15.
“I never expected to get cancer at 24. I really thought I had a sore throat but it turned out to be much worse”.
Ms Masson explained that doctors initially believed she had the AML strain and could start chemotherapy a week after being diagnosed.
But as she was driving home, they changed their minds and called to ask her to begin treatment immediately.
"I had only been told I had cancer the day before and suddenly I was starting chemo," she told the publication, adding it "all happened so fast".
The 24-year-old finished her eight cycles of chemotherapy in May.
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