top of page

My Mediastinal Germ Cell Cancer Story

Sophie Dart, Ovarian Germ Cell Cancer Survivor
Sarah, Mediastinal Germ Cell Cancer Survivor

On Monday 1st July 2019 my life radically changed forever.

I woke up struggling to breathe and my face and neck were swollen beyond recognition. I phoned my dad and asked him to drop me at my GP surgery and drop the kids off at school.

I refused to leave the waiting room until I could see a doctor. I knew something was seriously wrong with me.

The GP sent me to A&E, where a chest X-ray revealed a large mass. I was then sent for a CT scan, which showed I almost certainly had some kind of cancer in my mediastinum.

It was pressing on my blood vessels and caused Superior Vena Cava Syndrome. I was admitted and began a high dose of steroids. A biopsy was performed. The doctors thought it was probably lymphoma, perhaps thymoma and a small chance it was a mediastinal germ cell tumour.

It was a germ cell tumour. The biopsy only found germinoma, but later on down the line my bloods would show it was a mixed tumour.

I had one round of Etoposide and Carboplatin chemotherapy, then four rounds of BEP. In January 2020 I had surgery to remove the last bit of the tumour, which had shrunk substantially. Only teratoma remained and it was removed with clear margins.

I was deeply traumatised by chemotherapy and am still living with the damage it has caused my body. I have chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy and can no longer walk far or unaided. I’ve slowly learned to write again, but my hands are severely damaged. I also have tinnitus and a very painful keloid sternotomy scar.

I’ve been cancer free for almost three years now. A year before I was taken ill, my mum died of stomach cancer, four months after diagnosis. Our family has been shattered by cancer. I longed for my Mum and I longed to be well enough to look after my own children.

I’ve never been able to find another woman who has had the same cancer as me.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page