A British woman was told she had been living with five tumors in her brain after an eye exam, the Daily Mail reports.
Katherine Dance, 42, of Binfield in Berkshire, England, discovered a strange lump on her head while working as a scuba diving instructor in Greece in October 2014.
Dance reportedly believed the bump to be a minor injury she got while scuba diving, and gave the matter no further thought.
While visiting friends in the U.K. a month later, Dance decided to go to for a routine eye exam. The eye doctor told her to get blood tests done for a possible thyroid problem after discovering that her top eyelid didn't meet the bottom half of her eye when she blinked.
When Dance went in for her blood test in Greece, doctors immediately referred her for MRI and CT scans of her brain as soon as they got the results.
The scans revealed that Dance had five tumors in her brain, one of which was cancerous and had grown so large it was expanding outside of her skull, according to the Daily Mail.
Three months later, Dance underwent an emergency surgery to remove the tumors. During the procedure, surgeons made an incision in her head and removed half of her skull so they could remove the cancerous tumor.
Dance reportedly suffered a stroke immediately following the surgery, which resulted in memory loss and blindness in her left eye. The stroke also left her unable to talk or move the left side of her body.
"My life has been turned upside down, all my independence has been lost, and it will take me years to rebuild my life again," she told the Daily Mail.
The tumors were discovered in December 2014, two months after Dance first found the lump on her head. She underwent surgery to remove them in March 2015.
'If the [tumors] had not been found so early, the first I would have known about it could have been as a seizure," she said.
"If this were to have happened whilst I was teaching underwater, it could have well proved to have been fatal."
Dance's husband, Jason, who has been helping her recover from the stroke, said he was devastated by his wife's ordeal.
"Katherine used to be such an active person, she could do 10 things at once, she had a sporty lifestyle and ran marathons, but now she struggles to even walk," said Jason.
"She is doing very well considering she has a piece of her skull missing and is living with the effects of five [tumors] and having a stroke," he added.
"I'm proud of how far she has come in the past few months."
About 8.2 million people worldwide died from cancer in 2012, according to statistics reported by the World Health Organization. It is a leading cause of death worldwide.