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Woman saves her life by coughing up a cancerous throat tumour
By Richard Smith 11/01/2012
A mum accidentally saved her own life by coughing up a cancer tumour – and was congratulated by a doctor on her good fortune.
Claire Osborn, 37, felt a tickle in her throat seconds before she hacked up a 2cm wide heart-shaped lump into a tissue.
She took the growth to her doctor and a biopsy revealed it was an aggressive throat cancer. The mum of six was initially given a 50% chance of survival. But further tests revealed there was no trace of any other cancer.
Doctors believe the tumour grew on a stalk at the back of her throat and the coughing dislodged it.
Claire said: “The consultant said: ‘It appears you have coughed up your cancer. Congratulations.’ I was totally flabbergasted, a coughing fit had saved my life.”
Claire felt a scratching sensation in her throat on October 11 last year and after five minutes’ coughing, she felt “something dislodge” and fly out of her mouth.
She said: “It looked like a strip of liver. I threw it away. The next day the same thing happened but this time the lump was much bigger. I knew something was very wrong so I went straight to my GP who sent the tissue sample away for tests.”
Claire and husband Kevin, 53, of Coventry, went on holiday and medics confirmed the sample was malignant on their return.
She said: “I was devastated. I just thought I was going to die so I started saving for my funeral.”
But a scan at University Hospital Coventry came back negative. She needed only a minor operation to remove cancerous tongue cells.
Her surgeon Gary Walton said: “It is very uncommon to cough up cancer, but she did it.”