Growth on baby’s face turns out to be rare form of cancer

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·4-min read
A growth on Luca Brannan's face turned out to be a rare cancer. (SWNS)
A growth on Luca Brannan's face turned out to be a rare cancer. (SWNS)

A family have been left devastated after a growth on their baby's face turned out to be a rare form of cancer.

When Luca Brannan was just two or three months old, his parents, Kieran Brannan, a youth worker, and Shannan Roe, both 30, noticed a growth on their son’s face.

The couple, from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, weren't too concerned at first, assuming the growth was simply part of their baby's development.

“When Luca was born he was absolutely fine, just a normal baby developing well," dad, Brannan explains.

“Then about two or three months later we started to notice a growth on his face.

“We didn’t worry too much because all babies develop differently and he was eating and drinking fine and doing all the things babies should."

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Luca was diagnosed with an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumour (IMT) when he was just six months old. (SWNS)
Luca was diagnosed with an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumour (IMT) when he was just six months old. (SWNS)

A health visitor suggested they take Luca to the hospital but an ultrasound did not reveal anything out of the ordinary.

The hospital thought it looked like inflammation and gave Luca antibiotics.

But Brannan took before and after pictures of the growth to see if it was growing and discovered three weeks later it was getting bigger.

He showed the images to Luca’s GP who told them to go the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.

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There, Luca was given an MRI scan and the family were given the shocking news that their son had an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumour (IMT).

“The scans confirmed it was a tumour, but they didn’t know at that point if it was cancerous," Brannan explains.

“They did more tests and a biopsy and then they called us to come into the hospital and that’s when we knew it was serious.

“His cancer is very rare, IMT tumours are normally benign, but Luca’s has cancer in it."

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Kieran Brannan and Shannan Roe with baby Luca and Leo. (SWNS)
Kieran Brannan and Shannan Roe with baby Luca and Leo. (SWNS)

Doctors were concerned that because of Luca's age the tumour would keep growing, so they were keen to try to take it out.

But because the tumour runs through so many nerves and veins in the infant's face they are unable to perform the surgery any time soon.

“There are too many risks and the surgery could end up effecting the nerves in his face,” Brannan explains.

For now the infant is undergoing chemotherapy to try and shrink the tumour, which his parents will administer at home twice a day for the next 12 months.

Thankfully, the family say the treatment hasn't hindered Luca's development with the youngster, now 17 months, now talking.

Luca has a great bond with his older brother, Leo. (SWNS)
Luca has a great bond with his older brother, Leo. (SWNS)

He has also built a strong bond with his older brother Leo, five, with the siblings becoming best friends and often playing football together.

“It’s hard for his brother Leo because we are at the hospital a lot with Luca," Brannan adds.

“When Luca becomes ill during the night Leo has to get dragged out of his bed to get looked after by grandparents."

Read more: What to do if you think you've spotted a sign or symptom of cancer

Baby Luca is undergoing chemotherapy, which his parents administer twice a day at home. (SWNS)
Baby Luca is undergoing chemotherapy, which his parents administer twice a day at home. (SWNS)

Thankfully, Luca's tumour is slowly shrinking but his immune system is so compromised by the chemotherapy he is often admitted to hospital.

“The plan is to give him chemo for 12 months and then take him off it for three months to see what happens," Brannan explains.

"It’s not going to be a quick fix like we hoped."

The family is currently fundraising for the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity in a bid to give back to the staff who have helped Luca, with nearly £6,000 raised so far.

To donate click here.

Additional reporting SWNS.

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