Cricket fan who got a headache while watching Yorkshire play and was told it was conjunctivitis has cancer discovered by her optician

A woman who was sent away from A&E with a diagnosis of the eye infection conjunctivitis after experiencing a headache was found to have cancer when her optician discovered a growth.
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Cricket fan Pamela Wells, from Wetherby, was watching Yorkshire CCC play at Scarborough last summer when she experienced a persistent pain above her right eye.

After being sent home from A&E, she booked an appointment at Cameron Beaumont Opticians in Wetherby for a second opinion.

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Routine checks were carried out and optometrist Neil Brooks was alarmed to see a prominent mass behind her right eye. He immediately referred Pamela to cancer specialists at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, where it was confirmed she had a malignant melanoma and required an urgent operation.

Cricket fans watch Yorkshire CCC play Surrey at ScarboroughCricket fans watch Yorkshire CCC play Surrey at Scarborough
Cricket fans watch Yorkshire CCC play Surrey at Scarborough

Mrs Wells said: “I’d gone from having a bit of a headache to cancer in a few days, it was terrifying. It all happened so fast. If it wasn’t for the opticians this could quite easily have gone undiagnosed for another year until I had another eye exam, by which time it could have spread further. I don’t want to think about what could have happened.

“I’m forever grateful for their help and it just shows how vital it is to look after your eyes. You only get one pair and you have to take your sight seriously. I’d tell everyone; ‘If in doubt, don’t mess about’ – get it checked straight away.”

Mrs Wells was offered the eye appointment after she had visited A&E by a receptionist who was concerned by the continued pain.

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Mr Brooks said: “It’s the first time in my career I’ve had a case like this. I’ve spotted retinal detachments and benign tumours but nothing as serious as this. If left undiagnosed this could have led to sight loss or even worse depending how far it spread.

“Regular eye examinations give us the chance to check not only your eye health but your wider wellbeing too so I would urge everyone to book in every year.”

Mrs Wells spent five days in hospital where she received radiotherapy to remove the cancer. She has responded well to treatment and is now enjoying full vision.