A woman has set up a charity to raise awareness of challenging doctors’ assessments after GPs spent a year telling her the symptoms were for IBS – when she was suffering from CANCER.
Charlotte Cox, 27, was told her abdominal pain was caused by irritable bowel syndrome, but after suffering for more than year she went to a second doctor – who immediately spotted the tell-tale signs of cancer.
She was eventually diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the blood which develops in the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and glands spread throughout the body.
Charlotte, from Crawley, West Sussex, said: “I was in complete shock when I got the diagnosis.
“I was saying to the doctors that I knew something was growing and didn’t feel right, so I was under the impression that something wasn’t quite right, but hearing the news was devastating.”
Charlotte’s pain got so bad she had to return early from a dream trip to Thailand, and then decided to switch doctors.
After months of tests, she was told that the cancerous cells had spread from her abdomen where doctors found a tumour that was TEN centimetres long.
She has now set up charity, Lumped With Lymphoma, to raise awareness of the cancer and to raise money to support people diagnosed with it.
She said: “If they found it when it was contained in my abdomen I would have had to have radiotherapy, but instead I have to go through six months of chemotherapy and two years of maintenance treatment.
“My consultant believes there is a high chance it will be curable depending how I react to chemotherapy, but this is a recurring cancer so there is the chance it could keep coming back.”