Woman, 20, Diagnosed With Cancer After She Could Not Stop Itching

A woman who was diagnosed with cancer after experiencing constant itching and a lump has spoken out about her condition in order to raise awareness.

April Grierson, 20, who is from Liverpool in the UK, first discovered something was wrong when her skin began itching in June of 2021 — something she initially dismissed as an allergic reaction.

When her symptoms persisted she visited a doctor, who thought she may have the skin condition known as scabies.

However, by October Grierson had discovered a lump on her neck. After referral to a specialist, she was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma the following month.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system. While it may affect people of any age, it is most common in individuals aged between 20 and 40 years old and in those over 55.

Symptoms include swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin; fatigue; fever; night sweats; unexplained weight loss; severe itching; or increased sensitivity to alcohol, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Speaking to UK newspaper the Daily Mail, Grierson said she had initially suspected cancer before it had been diagnosed. “Turns out I was right and I’m so glad I kept going back to the doctors,” she said, noting that her skin “itched day and night from my head to my feet.”

Grierson’s cancer has since spread from a lymph node in her neck to her chest and windpipe, the paper reported. She was given the green light for chemotherapy to fight the cancer after doctors first conducted an egg retrieval procedure in case her fertility was affected by the treatment.

The make-up artist started her first round of chemotherapy at the beginning of February. As she continues to undergo treatment, Grierson says she wants to raise awareness of what she has experienced so far.

“I’m raising awareness for everything I’m going through because I want people to know they know their body best,” she told the Daily Mailadding that she would be “glad” if her story helps people to push for an appointment if they are concerned.

“This post is certainly not for attention but to raise awareness that it can happen to anybody at any age and it is not something to be ashamed of,” she wrote in an Instagram post in January.

Ahead of her treatment, Grierson decided to cut off her hair and donate it to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that turns hair into wigs that are then given to young girls who lose their hair. She also launched a JustGiving donation drive for the charity, titled “April’s Hair Donation,” which had gained more than $ 1,100 as of Friday morning.

Woman scratching leg
A stock photo shows a person scratching or rubbing their leg. A woman has been diagnosed with cancer after symptoms including severe itching.
AH86 / Getty

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