LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

Dad Of Three Was Told His Hearing Problems Were Caused By Frequent Colds, Turned Out It Was A Rare, Life-Threatening Disease

Date November 14, 2018

If you have an unexplained persistent symptom, you should always tell your doctor about it. And if your doctor can't figure out what's wrong with you, continue looking for answers. This is a hard-learned lesson that Ben Wilkinson, a 42 year-old father of three, wishes he had known earlier.

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Ben Wilkinson, a father of three from Longlevens, Gloucester, developed hearing problems in 2016. His doctors attributed the issue to frequent colds. Speaking to Daily Mail Online, he recalled:

I always had problems with my hearing. Every time I got a cold, my right ear got affected but I never thought anything of it.

I had been to the doctors but as I always had a cold it was dismissed as mucus from the cold.

When Ben had poor results in a hearing test earlier this year, his doctor finally referred him to an ENT, who ordered an MRI. The test revealed a mass behind the man’s nose. The tumor, an adenocarcinoma, was pressing on the Eustachian tube, which was causing the hearing problem.

In May, Ben had surgery to remove the tumor, but doctors couldn’t remove all of it, as the lump was too close to crucial nerves and a major artery. Radiation therapy could be used to kill the remaining cancer, but in Ben’s case, it may cause serious side effects, such as vision loss.

The safest option for Ben is proton beam therapy, which is quite expensive. He and his wife, Božena, created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the life-saving treatment.

Ben told Daily Mail Online:

I am still young, I have a family and I want to be able to spend time with my kids.

READ ALSO: Mom Shared A Photo Of Her Daughter's Sign Of Rare Eye Cancer And Saved Another Baby's Life

What is adenocarcinoma and where does it start?

Adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that starts in glandular tissue. Common sites where adenocarcinomas form include the colon, lungs, pancreas, esophagus, prostate, cervix, and breasts. The nasal cavity and sinuses are an uncommon place for this type of cancer to develop in, but it can happen.

Dad Of Three Was Told His Hearing Problems Were Caused By Frequent Colds, Turned Out It Was A Rare, Life-Threatening DiseaseDad Of Three Was Told His Hearing Problems Were Caused By Frequent Colds, Turned Out It Was A Rare, Life-Threatening Disease

What are the signs and symptoms of sinus and nasal cavity cancer?

Sinus and nasal cavity cancer doesn’t always produce symptoms in the early stages. When symptoms appear, they may include the following, according to WebMD:

  • persistent and worsening congestion;
  • sinus blockage or pressure;
  • nosebleeds;
  • headaches;
  • runny nose;
  • post-nasal drip;
  • facial numbness or pain;
  • a growth in the nose or mouth or on the face;
  • toothaches, tooth numbness and/or loosening;
  • vision changes, changes in eye pressure;
  • ear pain or pressure;
  • hearing problems.

Dad Of Three Was Told His Hearing Problems Were Caused By Frequent Colds, Turned Out It Was A Rare, Life-Threatening DiseaseDad Of Three Was Told His Hearing Problems Were Caused By Frequent Colds, Turned Out It Was A Rare, Life-Threatening DiseaseImage Point Fr / Shutterstock.com

If you have these symptoms and they don’t go away like they would with an allergy or cold, see your doctor as soon as you can. They are very unlikely to be caused by cancer, but you can never be too careful, right?

READ ALSO: UK Woman Developed An Unexplained Itch. Two Years Later, She Was Diagnosed With A Rare Blood Cancer And Is Now Fighting For Her Life


This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.