Lucy Crossley died of a rare cancer just four months after her wedding.

Image: iStock.

In their wedding photos, Liam and Lucy Crossley looked like any other pair of young newlyweds who couldn’t wait to begin their life together.

Yet Lucy’s beaming face belied the rare, life-threatening disease that had left her doctors puzzled for months.

“She didn’t even look ill. She was the most beautiful bride. She didn’t even feel as if there was anything wrong with her,” Liam recalled in an interview with The Sun.

When she married Liam in October 2014, Lucy has halfway through her chemotherapy for bile duct cancer. She was “really confident” the treatment would prove successful, but just four months later her illness claimed her life.

As her husband explained to The Sun, the first symptoms of the little-known cancer appeared four months before Lucy was diagnosed.

Lucy and Liam on their wedding day. Image: Liam Crossley via The Sun.

 

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The 27-year-old felt an itching sensation all over her skin, which staff at a drop-in medical centre told her was most likely caused by scabies. Other medics she saw over the coming months put her symptoms down to allergies and gallstones.

Eventually, the Leeds-based personal trainer underwent an ultrasound which led to her diagnosis in late 2013. At this time, her skin had become yellow and "unbearably itchy" and her stomach hurt. She'd also endured tightness in her chest.

Learning she had bile duct cancer, and a tumour growing on her liver, came as a "huge shock" to Lucy and her loved ones.

"The moment they told us she had cancer, she broke down ... I tried my best not to cry, too. I wanted to be strong for her," 30-year-old Liam recalled.

Watch: Mamamia TV examines how we can improve the survival rate for ovarian cancer. (Post continues after video.)

Lucy's cancer was too advanced for surgery, so she commenced chemotherapy.

In December 2014, two months after her wedding, she fainted due to internal bleeding caused by the tumour. At this point, doctors informed her there was nothing they could do to stop the cancer's spread.

Liam has told his late wife's story in an effort to raise awareness for bile duct cancer, or cholangiocarcinoma.

The illness presents in different forms, which are characterised by where the cancer starts. Some begin within the bile ducts in the liver — which serve to carry bile from the liver to the small bowel — while some present outside it. (Post continues after gallery.)

 

According to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, the symptoms of bile duct cancer include jaundice, abdominal pain, fever and itchy skin, though these can be caused by other conditions as well.

The two main treatments are surgery, which could involve the removal of the bile duct or parts of surrounding organs like the pancreas and small intestine, and radiation therapy.

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