'My newborn baby saved my life': Mother beats cervical cancer after doctors find tumour during birth and give her just 18 months to live
Doctors would not have found tumour if Naomi Jacobs had not been pregnantShe was given room so baby Lily could be with her during treatmentSurvival rate for large cell neuroendocrine cancer just 20%
15:20 GMT, 8 June 2012
When Naomi Jacobs gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, it should have been the happiest time of her life.
But the devastated new mother was told she would never see her child grow up, because she had a rare form of cancer that would kill her within 18 months.
Ms Jacobs, from Newcastle, had an emergency caesarean when she was 37 weeks pregnant with baby Lily after suffering an infection.
Terrible revelation: Naomi Jacobs, pictured with baby Lily and partner Mark Hurry, found out she had cancer after doctors found a tumour on her cervix during an emergency caesarean
Surgeons found and removed what they thought was a non-cancerous tumour on her cervix during the operation last October.
It was sent off for a biopsy, and just two weeks after the birth, they told the crushed 23-year-old that she had large cell neuroendocrine, an aggressive form of cervical cancer.
Ms Jacobs, who lives with partner Mark Hurry, 28, said: 'If I wasn’t pregnant with Lily I might never have known that I had cervical cancer.
'We gave her the middle name Grace because she saved my life.
'It was horrible being told that I had cervical cancer, but it was easier because I had Lily.
Over the moon: Ms Jacobs feared she would never see her daughter grow up, but is now in remission and making the most of every day
'She still needed her nappy changing and she still needed caring for so there was no option.
'I was told the survival rate was just 20 per cent.
'I looked it up on the internet when they told me what I had and it was the worst thing I could have done.
'It said that I would be dead in 18 months. That was a tough week.'
For two months Ms Jacobs underwent a series of gruelling chemotherapy treatments before doctors put her on a five-week course of radiotherapy.
MS JACOB'S SHOCKING DIAGNOSIS
Large-cell neuroendocrine cancer is rare, but very aggressive, when found in the cervix.
In its early stages, neuroendocrine carcinoma does not have any symptoms so it is not always spotted straight away.
Later on, symptoms include irregular bleeding, increased discharge, pelvic pain, painful urination, pain during sex, tiredness, leg swelling and backache.
When left untreated, metastasis or even death may occur.
At the beginning of March her treatment ended and she was told that she was technically in remission – although there is an 80 per cent chance of the cancer returning.
The delighted mother says that Lily saved her life, because doctors would never have found the tumour if she hadn’t been pregnant.
''They say you have to seize the day and that’s exactly what we have been doing.
'We’re just enjoying life.'
'My mum has found it hard, but she has just not let it show.
'My partner, whenever I contemplate the fact I might not make it, he has never let me continue to think like that.
'Doctors have told me I can’t have more kids, but Lily is like a shining light.'
Ms Jacobs is now raising money the Freeman Hospital’s Teenage Cancer Trust, where she has been receiving treatment for the past six months.
She said: 'When I was first diagnosed they weren’t sure whether to put me in a children’s or an adult’s unit, but this TCT unit is incredible.
'You’ve got more things in common with the people.
'There was one night when the football was on and we just sat and watched the football together.
'Without the TCT I would not have been able to have my baby girl with me throughout my treatment.
'Offering me a private room with space for my baby, partner and my mum meant I was never alone.
'For that, I am eternally grateful and will work my hardest to ensure I pay it forward.
'Every young person deserves the love, care and respect I have been shown.'