Student who thought she had ‘freshers’ flu’ reveals shock at being diagnosed with blood cancer  – What We Know!

Fashion, marketing and branding student Zara Barton, 19, from Solihull, was in her first year at university when she developed a large 2cm lump on her neck and other health problems - which she initially put down to partying and a painful relationship break-up

A primary-year college pupil who put her ongoing cough, pores and skin rashes and a big lump on her collarbone right down to a dose of ‘freshers’ flu’ has revealed her shock at being identified with blood most cancers.

Zara Barton, from Solihull within the West Midlands, was initially prescribed  antihistamines by docs in February final 12 months after complaining of ‘unbearably’ itchy pores and skin – however the uncommon rashes have been put right down to a troublesome break-up and going out an excessive amount of throughout her second time period at college.  

Nevertheless, extra worrying signs emerged together with an ongoing cough and weight reduction, leaving the style advertising and marketing and branding pupil to press docs for additional assessments – which resulted in her being identified with stage three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in November. 

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Trend, advertising and marketing and branding pupil Zara Barton, 19, from Solihull, was in her first 12 months at college when she developed a big 2cm lump on her neck and different well being issues – which she initially put right down to partying and a painful relationship break-up

After trusting her instincts that her health problems weren't simply caused by being run down, Zara pushed for further tests - and has now had seven rounds of chemotherapy at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for stage three Hodgkin's Lymphoma

After trusting her instincts that her well being issues weren’t merely attributable to being run down, Zara pushed for additional assessments – and has now had seven rounds of chemotherapy at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for stage three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

A worrying large lump appeared on the student's collarbone but she assumed it was just a swollen gland

A worrying massive lump appeared on the scholar’s collarbone however she assumed it was only a swollen gland

Zara and her family were left devastated after scans revealed that the teenager had blood cancer - and she's now urging others to recognise the symptoms of Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Zara and her household have been left devastated after scans revealed that {the teenager} had blood most cancers – and he or she’s now urging others to recognise the signs of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

{The teenager} started a course of chemotherapy in December, which she is now midway by way of, and acquired the excellent news final month that there have been no indicators of energetic most cancers in her physique.

Fearing for her fertility later in life, the scholar made the choice to have her eggs collected forward of the course of invasive therapy.  

Zara says she’s now enthusiastic about elevating consciousness of the signs of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – particularly amongst her friends – and urges anybody who recognises the signs to be persistent in the event that they don’t go away with preliminary therapy.

Zara stated she didn’t push at first as a result of she thought signs akin to itchy pores and skin couldn’t point out a extra major problem. 

She stated: ‘One thing like itching, I didn’t have a clue that that was an indication of blood most cancers. It’s finest to double-check and you’ll inform when one thing’s not proper, even on the very begin after I was getting the itching, I simply thought “this isn’t me, this doesn’t really feel proper”.  

Zara stated she had a ‘actually reactive swollen gland’ on one facet of her neck which might disappear and reappear once more for months.

The large lump on Zara's neck was thought to be a swollen gland at first but when it didn't go down, the student returned to the doctors for a second opinion

The massive lump on Zara’s neck was considered a swollen gland at first however when it didn’t go down, the scholar returned to the docs for a second opinion 

Talking concerning the discovery of the lump, Zara stated: ‘Once I first observed it [the lump], I wasn’t alarmed in any respect. It was throughout freshers so I believed perhaps it was a little bit of freshers flu and will simply be a swollen gland.

‘I additionally observed I had a cough which by no means actually went away. I believed it was freshers flu. My pals all had coughs at across the similar time, it was nothing actually completely different in comparison with the individuals round me.

‘I put a variety of my signs right down to pupil life, particularly with not being at house.

‘My mum and I have been saying if I used to be at house perhaps we might have picked it up sooner however since you’re so on the go you sort of simply brush this stuff off. It was a bit troublesome to get seen by the docs in addition to they have been primarily phone consultations.

‘They’re signs that you would be able to so simply put right down to one thing else and I assume I believed they have been all separate points.’

Hives and unusual blood spots also appeared on Zara's skin, which doctors initially treated with topical creams

The purple bruise-style spots that appeared on the student's thighs because she couldn't stop scratching the hives on her skin

Hives additionally appeared on Zara’s pores and skin, which docs initially handled with topical lotions – proper: The purple bruise-style spots that appeared on the scholar’s thighs as a result of she couldn’t cease scratching the hives on her pores and skin

Swollen glands from a previous bout of tonsillitis left the new student assuming that the lump on her neck was simply caused by a bad cold

Swollen glands from a earlier bout of tonsillitis left the brand new pupil assuming that the lump on her neck was merely attributable to a foul chilly

And the partying lifestyle of student life left Zara assuming her health woes were just because she was run down

And the partying way of life of pupil life left Zara assuming her well being woes have been simply because she was run down

Sharing her story on social media, together with highlighting signs of the sickness on TikTok has, she stated, highlighted the truth that blood most cancers can take some time to diagnose.  

‘I’ve had so many feedback on my TikTok about individuals with related experiences of going to the docs and probably not being listened to and I assume that’s as a result of we’re younger they usually simply suppose “they’re match and wholesome”‘.

Zara stated that her itching began final February and he or she visited the physician in Might the place she was prescribed medicine, which she hoped would remedy the difficulty.

However it acquired progressively worse to the purpose the place she’d scratch her pores and skin a lot it will bruise. 

The hives that appeared all over the fashion student's body - including behind her ears

The hives that appeared everywhere in the trend pupil’s physique – together with behind her ears 

‘I put the itching right down to a number of issues. I did undergo a reasonably upsetting breakup in Might [2021] and through that point had a foul stress rash, so I believed perhaps that had continued.

Awareness: Zara says she wasn't alarmed at all by the lump that appeared on her neck at first - because she didn't realise it could be a sign of something more serious

Consciousness: Zara says she wasn’t alarmed in any respect by the lump that appeared on her neck at first – as a result of she didn’t realise it could possibly be an indication of one thing extra severe

She said: 'I didn't realise that Lymphoma is the most common cancer in teenagers and young adults.' Pictured: the lump on her neck

She stated: ‘I didn’t realise that Lymphoma is the most typical most cancers in youngsters and younger adults.’ Pictured: the lump on her neck

She additionally skilled weight reduction and misplaced round a stone – however thought it was as a consequence of consuming much less.

Explaining how she dismissed her personal signs at first, she defined: ‘I believed being at college with fixed late nights, consuming often, most likely not consuming in addition to I ought to – these have been simply way of life issues that made me suppose on the time ‘okay if I used to be consuming extra healthily, getting extra sleep, not going out as a lot then perhaps this wouldn’t be taking place’…’ 

 ‘I simply wished to indicate that you’re nonetheless you as properly if you find yourself going by way of your therapy, you’re not outlined by a prognosis…

Zara Barton on present process chemo 

Finally her pores and skin rashes grew to become an excessive amount of to deal with. She stated: ‘I’d itch, which might then come up in hives virtually wherever on my physique – so my arms, legs, toes, wherever actually.

‘It will actually drive me mad. It will be scorching and was actually getting insufferable.

‘It was actually persistent and there was nothing I may do to cease it. I had lotions that I might placed on however I keep in mind generally I’d lie there with chilly flannels and a fan simply to attempt to make it extra bearable.’ 

Zara has begun sharing details about her cancer on TikTok, including trying to raise awareness about the illness amongst her peers

Zara has begun sharing particulars about her most cancers on TikTok, together with making an attempt to boost consciousness concerning the sickness amongst her friends

The cancer of the blood that Zara has affects around 1,950 people each year in the UK. Pictured: the student on a night out during her first months at university

The most cancers of the blood that Zara has impacts round 1,950 individuals every year within the UK. Pictured: the scholar on an evening out throughout her first months at college

Hodgkin’s lymphoma: A most cancers that assaults the physique’s disease-fighting community

Lymphoma is a most cancers of the lymph nodes, which is the physique’s disease-fighting community.

That community consists of the spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes and thymus gland. 

There are numerous kinds of lymphoma, however two fundamental ones: non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s. 

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a kind of most cancers that begins within the white blood cells. It’s named after Thomas Hodgkin, an English physician who first recognized the illness in 1832.  

It impacts round 1,950 individuals every year within the UK, and eight,500 a 12 months within the US.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most typical between the ages of 20 and 24, and 75 and 79. 

The survival charges are rather more favorable than most different cancers. 

Signs embrace:  

  • a painless swelling within the armpits, neck and groin 
  • heavy night time sweating
  • excessive weight reduction 
  • itching
  • shortness of breath 
  • coughing 

Danger components: 

  • lowered immunity
  • a household historical past of the situation
  • people who smoke 
  • those that are obese


  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy
  • steroids 
  • stem cell or bone marrow transplants

The 19-year-old stated that at first of October she discovered one other lump above her collar bone and returned to the docs, who she claims wasn’t involved.

However on the finish of the month, she noticed one other physician who ran a number of blood assessments and referred her for an pressing ultrasound scan.

On November ninth, the night of her scan, Zara acquired her prognosis.

Zara stated: ‘The physician clearly didn’t need to have to inform me this over the cellphone however I’d been so persistent on discovering out I couldn’t wait till the following day. 

‘He was like ‘have you ever heard of Lymphoma?’ and I used to be like ‘no, what’s it?’ He was like ‘oh, it’s blood most cancers’.

‘Clearly that was simply an enormous shock. I simply didn’t know what to anticipate, what that meant and what I used to be about to undergo.

‘He was making an attempt to elucidate the therapies I might need. Clearly we didn’t know the whole lot about it but and we nonetheless needed to discover out what sort and stage. You suppose the worst I suppose.

‘My scan outcomes got here again displaying it was stage three. It got here again and confirmed that it was all in my neck, chest and in my spleen.

‘That was fairly scary as properly discovering out that it had acquired to that time with out me understanding as a result of I felt so regular in myself in any other case.’

On condition that she was advised that there was a threat of changing into infertile after chemotherapy, the scholar had an operation to take away and freeze her eggs in December.

Ten days later, Zara began chemotherapy at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and has since had seven rounds with 5 extra to go.

She stated that her itching stopped after her first session and he or she has determined to take a 12 months out of her research, and can redo the 12 months come September.

Since her prognosis, the teenager who shares informative movies concerning the unusual most cancers that develops within the lymphatic system, stated that the assist she’d acquired from household, pals and even strangers has been superb.

Zara stated: ‘My prognosis has affected my life loads. I used to be residing at college with my pals and actually felt the happiest I’d ever been, so I felt like I’d gone from my highest level to my lowest actually.

‘I posted my story on-line as a result of after I was identified I used to be going to inform my shut pals and I believed individuals have been going to listen to about it anyway and when individuals hear that somebody’s acquired most cancers, you don’t need them to suppose the worst.

The teenager is currently over half way through her chemotherapy treatment plan and is urging people not to feel embarrassed about going back to their doctor with health concerns

{The teenager} is at the moment over half means by way of her chemotherapy therapy plan and is urging individuals to not really feel embarrassed about going again to their physician with well being issues

Her father Lloyd is prepping to run the Brighton Marathon next month to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust

Her father Lloyd is prepping to run the Brighton Marathon subsequent month to boost funds for the Teenage Most cancers Belief

Zara says she desires to color an trustworthy image of what it’s to reside with most cancers, telling her TikTok followers: ‘I simply wished to indicate that you’re nonetheless you as properly if you find yourself going by way of your therapy, you’re not outlined by a prognosis. I didn’t need anybody to really feel sorry for me, I wished individuals to see that I’m nonetheless me.’

She added: ‘My prognosis has put issues in perspective – life’s too quick, simply do what makes you cheerful I suppose.’

Zara’s dad, Lloyd Barton, is operating the Brighton Marathon this April and is fundraising for the Teenage Most cancers Belief, a charity that has been supporting her all through her therapy.