Student battles 10cm deadly tumour after taking contraceptive pill for 12yrs!
*WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT*
A student has battled a deadly 10cm tumour on her liver after taking the contraceptive pill for 12 years.
Sarah Wilmot, 26, from Redcar, North Yorkshire, had taken the contraceptive pill for longer than a decade and was advised to take two a day when she was 16 to ease her heavy periods.
But at the beginning of 2016, Sarah’s weight started to suddenly increase and she began suffering from severe pain in her liver, back and shoulders.
Sarah was referred for a liver MRI and in August doctors revealed the cause of the pain was a 10cm mass growing in her liver.
Despite initially being told it was cancerous, after further tests Sarah was relieved to find the mass was in fact a focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) – a benign tumour caused by long term use of the contraceptive pill.
Doctors warned that the tumour could rupture, which would cause internal bleeding, and so the tumour, as well as part of her liver and gall bladder, were removed.
Sarah, who is due to marry fiancé Jamie Brown, 27, this year, has now made a full recovery and wants to warn others about the potential dangers of the long term use of oral contraceptives.
Sarah, who is studying for her PhD at Northumbria University, said: “I had no idea that the pill could have such severe side effects, thankfully the tumour was caught in time and was removed before any more damage could be done.
“When I started to gain weight I assumed it was down to me not looking after myself properly and eating the wrong things.
“Around the same time I was having tests for my digestive problems which were getting out of control.
“I was very bloated and I had put on a lot of weight around my tummy and had terrible indigestion.
“A few months later I started to get a fizzy sensation in my liver when I lay down which developed into a crushing pain after I ate.
“I also had a burning sensation in my upper back and pain in my right shoulder, I felt exhausted.
“At first doctors told me I had cancer which was terrifying but further tests revealed the tumour was benign.
“Doctors told me there was a risk of rupture and a risk of it then turning cancerous so the safest option was to have it removed.
“Thankfully the surgery went well but I now want to warn others of the severe side effects of the contraceptive pill.”
Sarah was diagnosed with endometriosis aged just 16 and was advised to take two lots of the contraceptive pill, Yasmin, every day to ease her heavy periods.
She added: “I carried on taking two pills a day for eight years as they seemed to help with the pain and my periods stopped all together.
“After eight years I tried the coil but it didn’t suit me so I carried on with the contraceptive pill but took only one a day for the next two years.
“I had also suffered with severe IBS for over 10 years so I was used to stomach pain but when my symptoms started to get worse I knew something else was wrong.
“I had my first scan in January which picked up the mass and then a second in June which found it had grown by 3mm.
“I actually started to research my symptoms and found that long term use of the pill could be a cause so I stopped taking it at the end of May and when I had a third scan in August it had stopped growing.
“I was sent for tests and on June 10 I was told I had primary liver cancer which was terrifying and was sent to the Freeman hospital in Newcastle for further tests.
“A biopsy confirmed it wasn’t cancer but in fact a benign tumour known as a focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH).”
On November 14, Sarah underwent a six and a half hour operation to remove the tumour and sections of her liver, as well as her gall bladder.
Sarah was then placed in intensive care for two nights and spent a further five days recovering in hospital, but thankfully the surgery was a success.
Sarah said: “I will never be able to take any contraceptive or hormone pill again because the tumour could grow back and in two years I will have to have an MRI to check my liver is ok.
“I was never made aware of the severe risks, yes I was given the pamphlet but the information is almost brushed over and isn’t explained in depth.
“But the problem I had was that I didn’t have any symptoms until it was too late, when I started experiencing the pain in my liver the tumour was already 10cm wide.
“I don’t want to put people off using the contraceptive pill, as nine times out of 10 everything is fine, but I think it is really important to let people know what can happen.
“It is so important to know your own body and if you think something could be wrong always get it checked out before it’s too late.”