Woman’s Selfie Near Times Square Leads To Brain Tumor Diagnosis

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A brain tumor was discovered on a woman after she took a life-changing selfie in New York City, USA, ultimately shaping her journey through multiple cancer diagnoses and inspiring her to pursue a career in public health.

Eight years ago, Megan Troutwine found herself traveling to the Big Apple to pay a visit to her late cousin, Tony Martinez, who was living in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem.

The 33-year-old from Hudson, Florida, recalled to The New York Post, “We had so much fun, just taking pictures and seeing the sites.

“When you have family living there, your heart hits those streets differently.”

While in Midtown, the central portion of Manhattan, Megan and her cousin visited the famous Rockefeller Center complex. That’s when Megan stopped to take a selfie next to the nearby reflecting pool and fountains on Sixth Avenue.

Megan continued: “I looked at the picture, and my eyelid was drooping.”

Megan Troutwine was diagnosed with a brain tumor after she showed a selfie she found odd to her doctor

Image credits: Courtesy of Megan Troutwine

“I thought it was odd, so when I returned home, I mentioned it to my neurologist.”

Consequently, the doctor ordered a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI).  Following the MRI, Megan got a call that explained healthcare workers had found a benign mass inside her brain that was growing at an aggressive rate.

A benign tumor is a mass of cells that grows slowly and does not invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body. Unlike cancerous tumors, benign tumors are not considered life-threatening.

Nevertheless, doctors went on to also find that Megan had a meningioma, a tumor that forms in the meninges, which are the layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord, before finally discovering that she did have cancer.

Image credits: Courtesy of Megan Troutwine

“This diagnosis, it is hard,” she said.

Megan reportedly began treatment immediately at Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center, where she first underwent surgery to remove the tumor. 

However, a follow-up procedure revealed the presence of another primary brain tumor — this one, a glioma.

According to Cancer Research UK, gliomas are cancerous brain tumors that start in glial cells.

These are the supporting cells of the brain and the spinal cord. Some types of gliomas grow faster than others.

Healthcare workers found a benign mass inside Megan’s brain that was growing at an aggressive rate

Image credits: Megan Troutwine

Megan went on to work as a health unit coordinator at Moffitt when doctors informed her that the tumor would continue to grow slowly and that she’d likely require lifelong monitoring for her condition.

On top of that, doctors also discovered she carries the PTEN gene mutation, putting her at greater risk for developing other cancers, as per The Post.

PTEN gene mutations are also commonly found in brain tumors called glioblastomas and astrocytomas and in an aggressive form of skin cancer called melanoma, Medline states. Mutations in the PTEN gene reduce or eliminate the tumor suppressor function of the PTEN enzyme.

Since 2017, when she underwent a craniotomy, Megan was diagnosed with and treated for both breast and uterine cancer, she told The Post.

Image credits: Megan Troutwine

During her challenging treatments, Megan revealed that she had encountered individuals she described as “some of the most genuine and inspiring people” she’s ever known.

The cancer survivor said: “Cancer was not my first choice, but I wouldn’t trade where I am or what I have gone through for anything.”

Megan added that through her work now, she’s able to help “people in the most difficult time in their lives.”

She further stated: “So many people going through this don’t have that support system through it, so to be a vessel for that is a blessing.”

Megan, who initially studied church ministry, revealed that she was planning on pursuing a second degree in public health.

She said: “I have a heart for people and trying to help people in any way that I can.”

Since her first visit to the city that never sleeps, Megan lost her cousin Tony to pancreatic cancer.

She’s reportedly been back to the city only once “to pay homage to the memories I shared with him.”

“That was lucky,” a reader commented

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