A 22-year-old from Barnstaple has shared the story of her cancer diagnosis for World Cancer Day (February 4).

Jessica Jacobs was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in February 2018 at the age of 20.

Her diagnosis came in her second year of her studies at the University of Falmouth, when after weeks of feeling 'under the weather', she ended up in A and E.

After further tests confirmed the cancer, Jessica said she broke down after a 'wave of panic and emotion' came over her.

She said: "I was in my second year of uni when I started to feel quite under the weather. I was tired and sluggish and couldn't figure out what was going on.

Jessica Jacobs was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at the age of 20.Jessica Jacobs was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at the age of 20.

"I went home for the Christmas break in 2017 and I thought that if I rested I would be fine.

"I was low and withdrawn and my family could tell it was taking its toll on me mentally. They encouraged me to go to the doctors for a blood test.

"My blood level came back a bit low, but the doctor said that it was because I was a student and therefore must have a bad diet.

"It took about six weeks and me ending up in A and E before I was taken seriously.

Jessica was supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust throughout her treatment.Jessica was supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust throughout her treatment.

"I finally had a bone marrow biopsy and I was told over the phone that it was likely to be leukaemia and that I needed to go to Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre for further tests. It was confirmed that I had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

"My mum asked if it was a death sentence. A wave of panic and emotion came over me and I broke down.

"I wondered if I could go back to uni when the term started, but I also wondered if I'd make it back at all.

"I was told I couldn't go back to uni for a while, so I calmly sent a message to my flatmates saying: 'So it turns out it is cancer'."

Throughout her treatment, Jessica was supported by Teenager Cancer Trust - a charity for young cancer patients between the ages of 13 and 24 years.

The charity provides specialist nursing and support for young people with cancer to help them keep living their lives as they recover and plan for their future.

Jessica said: "I was on an adult ward for a bit and I noticed the difference; not only did people have cancer but some also had dementia and it was scary and isolating.

"I was so far away from home and ripped away from my friends, uni and life in general, but the Teenage Cancer Trust unit is designed like a home away from home and it gives you comfort and control. Young people seem to take it in their stride more and motivate each other to keep going."

Jessica is one of seven young people to feature in a film marking World Cancer Day from Teenage Cancer Trust that highlights what it is like to get a cancer diagnosis so young.

The charity says seven young people between the ages of 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer each day. The video shows the young reflect on their memories of being diagnosed and what they have learned from their experience.

Liz Tait, director of fundraising at Teenage Cancer Trust, said: "We are very grateful to Jessica for sharing their story as part of Teenage Cancer Trust's World Cancer Day campaign.

"Jessica had to wait a long time to receive her diagnosis, which is not an uncommon story for young people with cancer.

"Every day in the UK, seven young people aged 13-24 hear the news 'you have cancer'. Teenage Cancer Trust's specialist nurses and support staff are there to help, right through treatment and beyond."

To find out more about what it's like for a young person to hear the words 'you have cancer', visit Teenage Cancer Trust's website.