Man, 24, hit with cancer after his friend spotted sign in his eyes

NHS doctor explains the different treatments for lymphoma

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Scott Fryatt, 24, was struck down with severe abdominal pain when he was house-sitting for a friend in Glasgow. The pain subsided but he felt like something wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t until his mate noticed a certain colour in his eyes that he called NHS. Unfortunately, hospital tests revealed “incurable” cancer.

Back In April 2022, Scott struggled with symptoms for the first time when house-sitting for his friend.

He fell “violently” ill and struggled with a bad case of abdominal pain. Fortunately, these stubborn symptoms eventually left him alone but something still felt off.

A lunch with his friend, who pointed out that his eyes had gone yellow around the sides, was the last drop. Scott decided to contact the NHS.

They rushed him to a hospital where he was tested for gallbladder stones and hepatitis but medical professionals could not get to the root of the problem.

READ MORE: Acholic stools are ‘the most common’ sign of pancreatic cancer in ‘initial’ stages

Scott told EdinburghLive: “They could not find anything wrong with me but my liver was failing and my blood counts were all over the place.

“There is this chemical called bilirubin that indicates how healthy your liver is, the higher the number the more severe the liver failure, and mine were through the roof. Doctors did not know what to make of it.

“They carried out a lot of tests but decided to send me to see a liver specialist at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh.

“I spent about four or five weeks there getting further tests done and put on 22kg in water weight which I found out was common when your liver starts to fail.

“I was so ill and getting worse as time went on. After a while they said I needed a liver transplant and began carrying out scans to make sure I could physically cope.

“Unfortunately, during this process they also found out that I had lymphoma. They carried out a biopsy to make sure that the procedure would not make the cancer go mad.”

After Scott was cleared, he was granted a transplant within a week as a matter of urgency.

Yellow eyes, like in Scott’s case, describe a condition known as jaundice, which can be one of the signs pointing to lymphoma, according to the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Jaundice occurs when there’s too much yellowish substance called bilirubin in the blood. 

READ MORE: ‘There’s no cure’: Oedema in your feet can signal irreversible fatty liver disease

As the 24-year-old explained his bilirubin was “through the roof”, which left him with the abnormal tint in his eyes.

The journal reports that while jaundice occurs in a fair number of patients with lymphoma, it is rarely seen as a presenting complaint.

According to the Mayo Clinic, other lymphoma symptoms can include:

  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Itchy skin.

Scott was booked for another scan in early October to see if his cancer was localised or if it had spread.

Scott added: “I went into the scan thinking that the lymphoma would be localised as doctors believed that was the most likely case. Unfortunately, it showed that it was everywhere and had spread all over my body.

“It was tough going in and expecting good news and to then walk out with the knowledge that I had incurable lymphoma. The good news was that it can be treated and that it should not impact how long I live for.

“In late October they gave me my first round of chemo and I have just been on that journey since.”

When being treated, Scott was given a bed in the Teenage Cancer Trust ward, where he sympathised greatly with the younger cancer patients. Impressed that the Trust covered all aspects impacting young cancer patients’ lives, Scott has decided to organise a fundraiser. You can support Scott’s GoFundMe here.

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