A vegetarian student diagnosed with a brain tumor that allowed her to “taste bacon” claims doctors dismissed her unusual symptom and called her instead ‘hormonal cooler’.
Lucy Younger, from Cornwall, moved to the capital in September 2018 to study English Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London.
However, just a few months later, the 18-year-old began suffering from severe migraines and gustatory hallucinations, which cause tastes that are often strange or unpleasant.
Despite repeated GP appointments, Ms Younger’s symptoms, which also included visual hallucinations and a feeling of “deja vu”, were simply attributed to anxiety and depression and she was prescribed antidepressants.
But after suffering a seizure and collapsing in 2020, scans revealed he had a benign brain tumour. These masses can alter a person’s sense of taste.
Lucy Younger, from Cornwall, moved to the capital to begin an English Literature degree at Goldsmiths, University of London. However, just a few months later, the 18-year-old began experiencing severe migraines and gustatory hallucinations, causing tastes that are often strange or unpleasant. Despite repeated appointments with her GP, she was told she was simply anxious and depressed and was prescribed antidepressants.
But after suffering a seizure and collapsing in 2020, scans in hospital revealed he had a benign brain tumour. Pictured is Ms Younger in hospital after collapsing and suffering a seizure.
Mrs. Younger postponed college for a year to undergo brain surgery to remove the tumor. But earlier this year, after suffering cold and flu symptoms, she returned to the hospital. An ultrasound and biopsy revealed that she had stage one thyroid cancer. Pictured is Ms Younger after surgery to remove part of her thyroid following an unrelated cancer diagnosis.
Although the tumor was successfully removed, the 23-year-old was diagnosed with thydroid cancer on the neck this year.
Ms Younger, who now lives in south-east London, said: “I fell right into London life, always going out in the evenings.” I wanted to make the most of my time in London as I had moved from such a small city.
‘I had made great friends and was really settling in, I loved the career I was doing.
“Then I started having very bad migraines. I would sit in my college classes and see these pink elephants in the room. I thought I was going crazy.
‘I’m a vegetarian but I could taste the bacon while watching these elephants. I thought, “Why can I taste bacon right now?”
Ms Younger visited her GP in London but was told she was “just anxious and probably depressed”, she said. She said: ‘There was no way she was that anxious. She knew deep down that something was wrong.’
After continuing to experience symptoms, she returned to see her GP a year later, concerned she had a brain tumour.
Visual hallucinations, gustatory hallucinations, and the feeling of deja vu (the feeling of having already done something) are potential signs of brain tumors or epilepsy, which can be triggered by tumors.
However, Ms Younger claimed her concerns were dismissed as being “hormonal” and she was prescribed antidepressants.
But after contracting Covid, your symptoms He got worse and began to suffer seizures and numbness on one side of his body.
Mrs Younger, who visited her GP again, said: ‘I turned to the doctor and said, ‘Could it be a brain tumour?’
“He said, ‘Don’t be silly, you’re 19, fit and healthy. “No one at 19 has a brain tumor, it’s hormonal.”
“They still didn’t listen to me. The doctors kept saying goodbye to me.
“They told me over and over again, ‘You don’t have a brain tumor, it doesn’t happen to people your age.’
“I felt like I was being really annoying and like I was being a hypochondriac.”
Ms Younger said the antidepressants she had been prescribed “did nothing” because she was not depressed, but left her feeling “dramatic” and like she couldn’t trust herself.
But while in Cornwall in 2020, he collapsed and suffered a seizure. He went to the ER, where doctors discovered that he had temporal lobe epilepsy, which triggered his seizures.
Epilepsy can increase the risk of stroke and psychological conditions, including anxiety and depression.
He added: “You know your body better than anyone and if you really think something is wrong, you should push for tests and advice.” ‘If I had followed the first advice, I still wouldn’t know I had a brain tumor and I wouldn’t have discovered I had thyroid cancer.’
Ms Younger has since had half her thyroid removed, takes medication for epilepsy and now undergoes brain scans twice a year. She said: ‘I feel like my twenties have been completely stolen from me. “Even the little things that aren’t that deep, like all my friends go out at night and I can’t go out drinking because I’m on medication.” Pictured is Mrs Younger with her flatmate Ellie.
The condition, which affects about 50 million people worldwide, is usually diagnosed at age 20. Seizures begin in one or both temporal lobes of the brain, which are responsible for memory, hearing, and understanding language.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, gustatory hallucinations and the feeling of déjà-vu are among the common signs of the disease.
However, it was not until after a follow-up appointment with her GP in Cornwall that she was referred for an MRI.
Half an hour after the scan, doctors called her and told her over the phone (due to Covid restrictions) that her epilepsy was being triggered by a benign brain tumour, she claimed.
These non-cancerous tumors are a mass of cells that grow relatively slowly in the brain and cause headaches and epileptic seizures. Surgery is the gold standard treatment to remove tumors.
Ms. Younger dropped out of college for a year to undergo brain surgery and recover. She but she returned to finish her bachelor’s degree and pursue a master’s degree.
In early 2023, during his master’s course, he fell ill with cold and flu symptoms.
She visited her family doctor, who referred her for an ultrasound and biopsy, which revealed she had stage one thyroid cancer in her neck.
The cancer affects the small gland at the base of the neck that produces hormones.
Each year there are around 3,900 new cases in the UK and 43,000 in the US.
Mrs Younger said: “They said: ‘Thyroid cancer is really rare, you’re young, fit, healthy and you’re a girl, we don’t think it’s cancer.’
And he added: “I didn’t believe them when they told me, I thought they had the wrong Lucy.”
Ms Younger has since had half her thyroid removed, takes medication for epilepsy and now undergoes brain scans twice a year.
She said: ‘I feel like my twenties have been completely stolen from me.
‘Even the little things that aren’t that deep, like all my friends go out at night and I can’t go out drinking because I’m on medication.
‘They’re building relationships and settling down, but I can’t even think about that.
“It’s hard to meet people and it’s not really a good conversation starter.”
He added: “You know your body better than anyone and if you really think something is wrong, you should push for tests and advice.”
‘If I had followed the first advice, I still wouldn’t know I had a brain tumor and I wouldn’t have discovered I had thyroid cancer.
“If there was more awareness about brain tumors and seizures, I would have known and wouldn’t have thought I was going crazy.”