Teen thought she was pregnant when her breasts started leaking milk but the real reason is heart breaking Teen thought she was pregnant when her breasts started leaking milk but the real reason is heart breaking
A teenager who thought she may be pregnant when she started leaking breastmilk was horrified to discover she actually had a brain tumour. Jessica... Teen thought she was pregnant when her breasts started leaking milk but the real reason is heart breaking

A teenager who thought she may be pregnant when she started leaking breastmilk was horrified to discover she actually had a brain tumour.

Jessica Buck was just 18 when she was diagnosed with prolactinoma – a tumour on the pituitary gland at the base of the brain – in late 2011.

She had just started sixth form when she began experiencing a catalogue of worrying symptoms, including feeling exhausted, dizzy and headachy.

But the most concerning symptom for Jessica, now 24, of Carterton, Oxfordshire, was the milky fluid that leaked from her breasts every few days.

It got to the point that she was having to stuff tissue in her bra.

“I was working part time as a retail assistant and kept going to the bathroom, realising that my bra was damp,” the brave young woman recalled.

Jessica had just started sixth form when she began experiencing a catalogue of worrying symptoms
Jessica had just started sixth form when she began experiencing a catalogue of worrying symptoms (Image: PA Real Life)

 

“There was white, milky fluid coming from my breasts. I thought that was something that only happened to pregnant women.

“I started to put cotton wool pads or tissues inside my bra, which was embarrassing, as I was constantly trying to hide it.

“I spoke to my mum and asked, ‘Is this normal?.

“She sent me straight to the doctor. I didn’t know what to think.”

When blood tests were inconclusive, Jessica, who feared she could be pregnant,was sent for an MRI scan at Churchill Hospital, Oxford.

This revealed a non-cancerous pea-sized tumour on her pituitary gland, which produces hormones to control messages to the cells in the body.

“When I heard the words brain and tumour in the same sentence, I barely listened to anything else,” said Jessica, then an A-level student.

Jessica is pictured with her mum, dental receptionist Jen, 48, and dad, gardener Phil, 56
Jessica is pictured with her mum, dental receptionist Jen, 48, and dad, gardener Phil, 56 (Image: PA Real Life)

 

“I was with my mum and she was just as shocked. We got home and talked about it and started to do some research.”

The tumour meant her pituitary gland wasn’t functioning properly and was over producing prolactin – the hormone which stimulates milk production after childbirth.

Jessica was told that her options were either to have surgery, or to take medication to control her symptoms and reduce the size of the tumour.

Reluctant to have brain surgery, she decided to try medication first.

She was prescribed Cabergoline, which blocks prolactin secretion from the pituitary gland and, quickly, her symptoms became more controlled.

Now, she still experiences some symptoms – such as headaches and nausea – but much less frequently than before her diagnosis.

The young woman now feels like her condition is under control, but she does worry about what it could mean in the future
The young woman now feels like her condition is under control, but she does worry about what it could mean in the future (Image: PA Real Life)

 

After three years on medication, Jessica, who lives with her mum, dental receptionist Jen, 48, dad, gardener Phil, 56, and sisters Sophie, 18 and Hannah, 22, tried to stop the tablets with the help of her medical team in 2015.

But when all her symptoms returned and the tumour started to grow again, she decided to resume her treatment.

Although the young woman now feels like her condition is under control, she does worry about what it could mean in the future.

“A few months after the diagnosis, I was told that prolactinoma can cause fertility problems,” she said.

“I was so young when I was diagnosed that babies weren’t really on my radar, but I have always wanted to be a mum. It is something that is so important to me.

“I was told that we would cross that bridge when we came to it.

“I have looked online and lots of people have said that they have the condition and have gone on to have kids, which is great.

Jessica is pictured with Jay Sheppard, senior fundraising manger at the Pituitary Foundation
Jessica is pictured with Jay Sheppard, senior fundraising manger at the Pituitary Foundation (Image: PA Real Life)

“I am worried that if I was pregnant, I couldn’t take the tablet and that might cause the tumour to grow – making me ill again.

“There are different medications that aren’t as effective, but I would really have to work with my team and have a plan in place before trying to get pregnant.”

For now, Jessica is determined not to let her condition get her down and to make the most of life.

Last year, she even gave up her job as an estate agent to travel the world.

“I quit my job last summer and I haven’t looked back,” she said.

“I went to the US for a month by myself and did all sorts of high energy stuff like white water rafting in Colorado, flying in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon and speed boating in Miami. There was the odd day when I didn’t feel great, but the adrenaline got me through it.

“I have been around Europe this year and I just make sure I am home when I have an important appointment.

“I write about it for my blog and I’m determined to have visited 25 countries before I turn 25 in January.”

Jessica has recently become an ambassador for the Pituitary Foundation, which is a national support and information organisation for pituitary patients, their families, friends and carers. It is the UK’s leading charity providing support to people affected by disorders of the pituitary gland.
This October, Jessica plans to turn her town orange for Pituitary Awareness month and raise as much money and awareness for the charity as possible.

 

Credit: Mirror

Henry Okafor

  • Kendra

    2017-08-15 #1 Author

    Wow!!! Unbelievable!

    Reply

  • Karina

    2017-08-15 #2 Author

    Wow…..That’s crazy!!!! Glad she’s better

    Reply

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