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Central Illinois woman battles brain tumor for a second time

Central Illinois woman battles brain tumor for a second time (WRSP)

Brain cancer isn't a diagnosis you want to hear from a doctor, but for Nancy McCormick, it's a battle she's been fighting for months.

"I was shocked,” McCormick said about her diagnosis. “I mean, it overwhelmed me. I didn't know what to say."

In May of this year, McCormick went in for a checkup at her cardiologist.

After explaining she'd been falling a lot and had problems getting out of her car, her doctor ordered a CAT scan.

The test found a tumor in her brain the size of a tangerine.

"That was May 8 that I found out,” McCormick said. “May 9 and 10 I had two surgeries because my brain swelled from the first one and that caused me to have a stroke."

Doctors couldn't remove the entire tumor because it was wrapped around a blood vessel. McCormick is now getting radiation treatments to shrink what's left.

This isn't McCormick’s first brain tumor. She had another one when she was just 2 months old.

"That was in 1950,” McCormick said. “When I had it then, they didn't do anesthesia so my parents had to hold me down and the doctor removed the tumor. [It was] a half-inch from the soft spot."

Treatment for brain tumors have come a long way since 1950.

"Surgical procedure is only part of the management of this serious disease,” said Dr. Samuel Au, a radiation oncologist at HSHS St. John’s Hospital. “The involvement of a full team of specialists who are trained and specialize in taking care of this disease is very important."

Symptoms vary from person to person. They can include headaches, personality changes, speech problems and weakness.

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