WHEN baby Luca Brennan showed a small growth on his face at two months old, his parents were told not to worry.
But father Kieran Brannan decided to photograph the growing lump and when he shared the snaps with a GP he was told to take his boy straight to the hospital.
Luca, who is now 17 months old, was diagnosed with an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) when he was just six months old.
The cancerous tumor on his face could not be removed and the tot endured aggressive chemotherapy.
Father-of-two Kieran said: “When Luca was born he was absolutely fine, just a normal baby who is developing well.
“Then about two or three months later we noticed a growth on his face.
“We didn’t worry too much because all babies develop differently and he was eating and drinking well and doing all the things babies are supposed to be doing.”
A health visitor suggested parents Kieran and Shannan Roe, both 30, take Luca to the hospital.
But an ultrasound showed nothing and the couple, from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, were told it was just inflammation and given antibiotics.
Father Kieran took before and after pictures of the lump to see if it was growing and discovered it was getting bigger three weeks later.
When he showed the snaps to Luca’s GP, Kieran was told to take his boy to Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children.
Kieran, a youth worker, said: “The hospital gave him more antibiotics but we were still very concerned so I called our local GP.
“We showed the pictures to the doctor to show it was growing and they gave us a letter to go straight to the Royal Hospital for Children to have an MRI scan done.
“The scans confirmed it was one tumorbut they didn’t know if it was cancer at the time.”
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors form in tissues called the mucosal surfaces and mesentery.
Mucosal surfaces are found in the eyes, nose, mouth, digestive tract, lungs, and genital and urinary tracts.
IMTs also contain many immune cells, making the tumor look inflamed, like an infection.
Kieran said: “They did more tests and a biopsy and then they called us to come to the hospital and that’s when we knew it was serious.
“His cancer is very rare, IMT tumors are usually benign but Luca has cancer.”
IMT affects less than one in a million people. It is usually noncancerous and rarely spreads.
However, Luca’s family have been told that their four-month-old boy’s tumor is cancerous and has grown through nerves and veins in his jaw and neck.
IMTs are difficult to completely remove through surgery – which unfortunately was the case for Luca – and often come back.
Keiran said: “Because he’s so young they said they had to try to take him out as they were afraid the tumor would grow and then the cancer too.
“But because the tumor is running through so many nerves and veins in his face, they won’t be able to be operated on any time soon.
“There are too many risks and the surgery could end up affecting the nerves in his face.”
Kieran and mother Shannan, who also have son Leo, five, were taught how to administer chemo to Lucas at home.
Luca is to be treated for 12 months to try to shrink the tumour.
Despite everything thrown at him, Luca has started talking, says his doting father.
He has also developed a strong bond with his brother Leo and the two have become best friends, often playing soccer together.
Kieran added: “Luca is now starting to speak and say hello, luckily it hasn’t affected his development.
“Luca’s tumor is slowly shrinking, but his immune system is so weak from chemotherapy that he’s in and out of the hospital a lot.
“The plan is to put him on chemo for 12 months and then wean him off for three months to see what happens – it’s not going to be a quick fix like we had hoped.
“It’s difficult for his brother Leo because we’re in the hospital a lot with Luca.
“When Luca falls ill during the night, he has to be dragged out of his bed to let his grandparents take care of him.
“Leo always asks if his brother can come and take care of him.”
The family is fundraiser for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity to give back to the staff who helped Luca, raising almost £6,000 so far.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8619245/before-and-after-photos-baby-revealed-devastating-truth-cancer/ Before and after photos of our brave little boy revealed a devastating truth