Thursday, August 18, 2022
News"Women your age don't get cancer". What GP told patient now terminally...

“Women your age don’t get cancer”. What GP told patient now terminally ill at 35.

A YOUNG dressmaker has been diagnosed as terminally ill after a GP told her: “Women your age don’t get cancer.”

Deanna Wilson found a rapidly-growing lump in her breast three years ago and went to see her family doctor.

The 35-year-old from Crossgates, Fife, was told by the medic the lump was nothing to worry about and not worth referring.

When Deanna insisted, the GP reluctantly agreed to refer her to a specialist but marked the case low priority. The doctor patronisingly told her patient to remember to “cancel her appointment” when the lump disappeared.


Deanna was told she was too young to get cancer


After waiting three months for a hospital appointment, Deanna was diagnosed with breast cancer which has since spread to her liver and bones, badly damaging her hips and spine.

Deanna, who got married last year, said the doctor had the decency to apologise after the terminal diagnosis. She urged the medic: “Don’t let this happen to anyone else.”

The fashion enthusiast went to her GP in Inverkeithing, Fife, in May 2013.

She said: “I felt a lump in April and hoped it would go away but it didn’t.

“I was told it was nothing, go home and come back in six weeks to have it revisited if it was still there or had changed. But I told her that it had grown and I first noticed it six weeks before.

“Reluctantly she decided to refer me but she said, ‘People your age don’t get cancer.’

“She also said as I was leaving, ‘Remember to cancel you appointment when the lump goes away to not waste their time’.”


Deanna with husband Stephen


“I was marked as a ‘low priority’ or a non-urgent patient so it took a long time to be seen.

It took from the GP appointment in early May until August of 2013 for Deanna to finally be diagnosed with breast cancer. The disease was already at stage three of four.

Deanna added: “Had I been sent through sooner, would I be sitting here now and having this conversation?

“The GP I was seeing at Inverkeithing called me and apologised when she learned of the diagnosis.

“All I could say to her was please don’t let this happen to anyone else.”

The brave newly-web, who is currently on her honeymoon, said that young women should speak up for their health.

She added: “I now tell all my friends, you need to be an advocate for you own health.

“You know your own body. People are often intimidated or scared of doctors and nurses so you have to stand up for your health.”

Soon after being diagnosed, Deanna’s mother and sister were tested for the disease.

Both were found to be carrying the same gene and received double mastectomies and had their ovaries removed.

Deanna and her husband Stephen are now trying to raise funds to create a downstairs bedroom in their home.

The pair have set up a Just Giving page to raise the money after running in to difficulties with social work and occupational therapy funding.

Deanna said: “The hormone treatment I’m currently on can slow down the cancer but it is now incurable and, one day, hopefully a long time from now, I will die from my illness.

“We were referred to a social worker and to a occupational therapist to find out if we could get some financial assistance for the build.

“However, they would need to follow a very rigid set of plans which wouldn’t allow enough space in the bedroom for a double bed and would force my husband and I to sleep in separate rooms in our house.

“We only got married last year and the thought of living as carer and patient rather than husband and wife was devastating.

We are hoping to raise enough funds to carry out the work ourselves.

“Every penny donated will be used to ensure our house is not only accessible for my needs but still feels like a family home that we can live in and enjoy for as long as possible.”

So far the funding page has reached its target and the money will go towards building a bedroom for Deanna and Stephen.

A spokesman for NHS Fife said they would not comment on the case due to patient confidentiality and that there had been no-complaint raised by Deanna.

No-one was available for comment at the GP practice, Inverkeithing Medical Group.

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