Woman’s massive brain tumor discovered after she complained of ‘phantom smells’ like burnt toast

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A United Kingdom woman who experienced so-called “phantom smells” that resembled burnt toast was later diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.

Prior to her diagnosis, Yasmin Clapp, 26, wrote off the imaginary smells — medically known as phantosmia — as well as other symptoms such as chronic fatigue. She dismissed the smells, specifically, as a “strange sensation” until she began to experience them more frequently.

Clapp finally sought medical attention in September 2017, she recently told SWNS. At first, doctors tested the woman for epilepsy, which resulted negative. A neurologist then scheduled her to undergo an MRI, which revealed a massive brain tumor.

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Yasmin Clapp's scar from where the tumor was removed.

Yasmin Clapp’s scar from where the tumor was removed.
(SWNS)

In March of 2018, Clapp underwent an awake craniotomy. Doctors were able to remove 98 percent of the tumor, she told the outlet.

“It’s really strange when I look back at it now. I don’t know how I did it but it went really well for me,” she said.

Clapp, who was left with a massive scar following her surgery, then underwent chemotherapy and radiation and is now doing well.

Yasmin Clapp after her operation. (SWNS)

Yasmin Clapp after her operation. (SWNS)

“I was lucky,” she said.

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Phantosmia is relatively uncommon, according to Medical News Today. The disorder can sometimes be a sign of an underlying condition — as was the case for Clapp.

People with phantosmia often describe smells that include burnt toast, burning rubber and cigarette smoke, among others.

Though phantosmia is often a sign of issues with nose or nasal cavity, it can also be indicative of “how the brain understands smells,” per Medical News Today. Those problems can sometimes be connected to epilepsy, head trauma, migraines, and Parkison’s disease, among other conditions.



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