Glasgow teen suffering chest pains given shock cancer diagnosis on first ever visit to hospital

Posted: 5th November 2021

Conor Elliot, 19, has a rare form of blood cancer but wrote off his chest pains because he “got them all the time”. Now he’s encouraging others to get checked out, because cancer doesn’t discriminate.

A Glasgow teenager has been given the devastating diagnosis of cancer after visiting the hospital over chest pains – and now he’s telling others of the importance of going to hospital to get checked out.

Conor Elliott, from Glasgow, was left shocked by the news when doctors told him back in February that his chest pain, which he developed just five months prior, and lack of sleep were the result of a tumour.

His visit was the first time he’d been in hospital.

The 19-year-old was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma which is a rare form of blood cancer that develops in the lymphatic system – this forms part of your immune system.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Conor said he now wants to encourage others to push for a diagnosis if they believe something is wrong, emphasising that cancer does not discriminate.

Conor began experiencing severe chest pain in September of last year and said that he got them “all the time” to the point he did not feel like himself anymore. The former sports coaching university student told the Daily Record: “I was always into sport but all of a sudden I was walking to the shops and I was so out of breath.

Conor Elliott.
Conor began experiencing chest pains back in 2020.

“I had a lump on my neck which is a really common symptom because it affects your lymph nodes. I had a constant infection for about three months, I was sweating at night.”

When he went to seek help, doctors thought he could have Covid but they later believed it may be acid reflux and as a a result he was given tablets in December to try and ease the pain.

Sadly these did not help and his condition got worse. At this point Conor knew something was wrong and returned to doctors two months later.

He explained: “I had never been to hospital in my life and I think I was in denial a bit. I said this is not normal. I could not sleep at night, my face was swelling up and a few people had noticed.

“They did a blood test and then I got a phone call saying I needed to urgently come in for a CT scan.”

It was then that the 19-year-old was diagnosed with stage four cancer where a further test revealed that there was a large tumour in his chest.

He said: “Accepting I had cancer and getting over the fear of staying alive was the hardest thing to do. I would have never been able to do this on my own and through the support of my family and close friends I am alive today.”

Conor soon began chemotherapy and underwent a biopsy and was looked after by the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow.

Discussing his time at the centre, he said: “The treatment I received there was unbelievable, they made me feel like family and cared for me every minute of the day during those two weeks in hospital.

“Due to Covid my Mum and Dad couldn’t come through with me for my treatments – that was a huge worry for me having have my first scan and surgery alone. I think throughout the whole process I just tried to stay really positive, I never wanted it to affect my life.

“There are so many mental battles you go through. I struggled with my mental health issues from the constant fear.”

 

Source: Glasgow Live, November 2021

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