Why did Janice’s breast cancer go undiagnosed for so long?
Janice came to us in October of last year.
She had been experiencing pain in her left breast for over a year and could feel a strange lump. After 6 months Janice went to her doctor to see if it was breast cancer.
Her GP took her concerns seriously and sent Janice for an ultrasound. But nothing obvious showed up on the results.
And since Janice had no other symptoms, her doctor said to just ‘wait and see’ if the pain continued.
9 months went by and the pain kept getting worse.
The painful waiting game…
During that time, Janice tried everything: she started eating healthier, tried different bras, no bra, new pillows, physiotherapy, and various relaxation techniques…
But nothing seemed to help.
Finally Janice went back to her doctor and asked for more tests. She needed to know what was going on.
Her GP, following standard diagnostic protocol, sent her for a CT scan. Unfortunately there was a long wait to get a CT scan. Janice was not deemed an urgent case so she waited.
3 months later, Janice finally had her CT scan.
So now, a full year after she first went to her doctor about it, Janice got her CT scan results back.
So it’s not breast cancer?
Based on the scan results, her doctor assured her that it was NOT cancer. Instead, Janice would need to see a specialist to figure out what was wrong.
More painkillers were prescribed and an appointment with an endocrinologist was scheduled for 6 months down the road…
Janice sat there and cried in her doctor’s office.
They were tears of fear and frustration. Something wasn’t right and she couldn’t wait another 6 months to find out what it was.
So Janice called our team at Cancer Treatment Options And Management (CTOAM) to get a second opinion.
The very first thing we did was set up a PET/CT scan for her. This would show us immediately, with certainty, if cancer was present in her body.
3 days later she had the PET/CT scan, and 24 hours later we had the results.
It was not good news.
Janice’s instinct had been correct. There was something wrong.
From ‘no cancer’ to ‘stage 4’
She had stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.
We recommended that she immediately ask her doctor for surgery to remove the tumors so she might have a chance.
Sadly her doctor said that the cancer had progressed too far already. Surgery was not an option. Not only that but her doctor admitted that if they’d caught the cancer at the time that Janice had first raised her concerns, it would’ve likely been very treatable.
Can you imagine how Janice felt? She had done exactly what she was supposed to.
It was the system – and older diagnostic tools – that had failed her. And cost her her life.
It is so sad to hear stories like Janice’s, which could have been avoided. Our mission at CTOAM is always to educate people about all their options for cancer care. So that hopefully fewer people, and fewer families, need to deal with the worst case scenario.
Long wait times and older, less accurate diagnostic tools do not need to be a part of your cancer story.
If you’re wondering at all if your diagnosis is accurate or if your treatment plan is the best it can be, feel free to reach out and book a Free Strategy Session with me.
I’ll share the simple steps you can take to ensure you’re getting the best cancer care available…so you have the best chance at getting your normal life back asap.on September 16, 2020