Woman's routine eye test revealed tumour on brain: 'It saved my life'

Katie Dunn
A routine eye test saw beautician Katie Dunn diagnosed with a tumour on her brain. (SWNS)

A woman has shared how a routine eye test saved her life after it revealed a large tumour on her brain.

Katie Dunn, 30, noted that the tumour would have been "both life-changing and even life-limiting" if it hadn't been spotted during her check-up at Boots.

The beautician was diagnosed with meningioma after an optician noticed abnormalities and referred her for an MRI scan.

"I feel like the eye test saved my life and eyesight," she says.

Katie Dunn
An optician at Boots referred the 30-year-old from Hampshire for an MRI scan after spotting some abnormalities. (SWNS)
Katie Dunn with bandages and dressing on her face. (SWNS)
Katie Dunn had to have two surgeries to have her tumour removed. (SWNS)

Dunn, who runs her own business and is from Hampshire, continues: "If it was left any longer, I could have lost my vision completely due to it pressing on my optic nerve."

After her trip to the Romsey branch of Boots, she went for an MRI scan at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital in February 2021.

Read more: Woman's suspected conjunctivitis diagnosed as brain tumour

The results confirmed that she had a large tumour on her brain, which has since been removed through two surgeries.

In December 2022, she also underwent fertility preservation before starting radiotherapy.

Katie Dunn after surgery drinking through a straw (SWNS)
Katie Dunn revealed that if it hadn't been identified in time then she could have lost her sight. (SWNS)
Katie Dunn smiling (SWNS)
She runs her own business and might have had to give up her livelihood. (SWNS)

Dunn, who is now working with Brain Tumour Research to raise awareness, says: "The type of tumour I have is slow-growing which means I could have had it for years.

"Had it been left undetected then it could have caused other issues, both life-changing and even life-limiting.

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"I rely on my eyesight for my job, and I drive too, so it would take away my livelihood and independence."

The beautician, who is now being monitored with regular scans, has raised almost £3,000 for research into her condition.

Katie Dunn in hospital stood up. (SWNS)
Katie Dunn has since raised £3,000 for research into brain tumours. (SWNS)

Discussing the after-effects, Dunn explains: “I’ve had some hair loss where the radiotherapy was targeting the mass and my nose and throat are still recovering from the second surgery as they cut away what they could of the tumour via my nose.

"Other than that, I feel fortunate to be able to share my story to help raise awareness."

She reflects: “It's made me realise that even when you don’t feel that you’re strong enough to deal with something like this, when it comes to it you somehow find the strength within you.”

Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, says: “We’re grateful to Katie for sharing her story with us as well as fundraising an incredible amount and we wish her well with her ongoing scans.”

Additional reporting: SWNS

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