Man with headaches diagnosed with brain cancer after visit to optician

  • A man was diagnosed with brain cancer after having blurred vision and went to an optician.
  • The optician found warning signs at the back of her eye, which may be caused by a tumor.
  • Doctors diagnosed Matt Voice with brain cancer and he underwent urgent surgery to remove 70% of the tumor.

A man with brain cancer said an appointment with an optician saved his life.

Matt Voice, 40, a former mechanic from the UK, experienced headaches and dizziness for seven years from the age of 32.

In April 2020, Voice’s headaches became unbearable, it started crashing unexpectedly, and “black orbs” blurred his vision. He had an episode, while he was driving, when he felt sick and his vision became so blurry that he had to stop.

“I started having seizures and the light was going out in my eyes. It was horrible for my children, Mason, 11, and Darcy, 15, to witness,” he told Britain’s SWNS news agency.

Voice said doctors thought her fainting spells and vision changes were caused by problems with her blood pressure.

However, as her eyesight worsened, Voice sought an appointment with an optician, which was almost canceled due to COVID restrictions at the time.

“But I pushed to go,” he said.

During the appointment, the ophthalmologist found warning signs that she might have a brain tumor or hemorrhage.

Gliomas cause symptoms like vomiting by pressing on the brain

The optician referred Voice to an eye clinic at a local hospital, and in May 2020, doctors diagnosed him with brain cancer, called an astrocytoma, which arises from cells that surround nerve cells in the brain.

“I was told that it was on the left and right side of my brain and that it would become aggressive,” the Voice said.

Astrocytomas are a type of brain cancer called a glioma. About 33% of brain cancers are gliomas, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Brain cancers are rare, and the chance that a person in the US will develop a malignant brain or spinal cord tumor during their lifetime is less than 1%, according to the American Cancer Society.

Gliomas cause symptoms by pressing on the brain or spinal cord. The most common symptoms, which can occur slowly and be subtle, include: headaches, seizures, personality changes, weakness in the arms, face, or legs, and speech problems. They can also cause: vomiting, vision loss and dizziness, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Voice said, “I’m glad I went to the optician when I did, otherwise I don’t think I’d be here for my kids.”

Voz underwent surgery to remove part of the tumor that was the size of a fist

In July 2020, Voice underwent surgery to remove 70% of the tumor on the right side. She then received intensive radiotherapy for 6 weeks, followed by three chemotherapy sessions until January 2021, when she could no longer tolerate it.

“I lost all my hair and I could see the children looking at me differently,” she said.

Although his cancer has been controlled, Voice has short-term memory loss and mobility problems, which means he can no longer work as a mechanic, uses a stair lift, and lives with his mother, who is a part-time nurse.

He is awaiting the results of an MRI to see if his tumor has grown.

“I just have to pray he hasn’t done it every time,” he said.

Leave a Comment