6:30 AM September 2, 2022
A woman who thought a flashing light behind her eye was a sign of an impending migraine has urged people to get their sight checked after she was diagnosed with incurable cancer.
Megan McClay, a former Aviva employee, was sat at work when she noticed a small flash of light appear in her left eye in February 2020.
The 29-year-old said: “I thought I had a migraine coming on so I did my best to ignore it.
“However after two weeks I was still noticing it.
“I called an optometrist who told me to go to A&E.
“So I went to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) who referred me to a specialist.
“That’s when I was diagnosed with ocular melanoma.”
Also known as uveal melanoma this cancer starts in an area of the eye called the uvea – the middle layer of the eye.
It is the most common type of cancer to affect the eye but it is still rare.
According to Macmillan Cancer Support roughly 700 to 800 people are diagnosed with uveal (ocular) melanoma in the UK each year.
The tumour has caused Megan’s vision to deteriorate over time.
Four months ago Megan, who lives in Wymondham with her partner Dimi Kashchiev, was given the devastating news that the cancer had spread to her liver.
She added: “If it stays in the eye it’s manageable.
“But when I found out I had metastatic liver cancer it became very serious.
“Worst case is I have two years to live and best case is five years.
“It depends on how I respond to treatment.
“If things get worse I would have to look at private chemo-saturation which is £40,000 per treatment.”
Megan is urging other people to get their eyes checked.
She said: “This type of cancer can be found with regular check-ups at the opticians which are often neglected.
“It can save lives if caught early enough.
“I’ve had great support from everyone around me and OcuMel UK who support research into ocular melanoma.
“I don’t know how I would’ve got through everything without everyone.”