Advising with empathy and experience

Delayed diagnosis of cancer.

A woman who doctors failed to diagnose with cancer after 25 appointments in 12 month, has been told that her condition is terminal.

Kim Major, 48, from Ewell, visited her GP at the Fitznells Manor Surgery, Ewell, 25 times in 12 months complaining of  headaches, lethargy, dizziness, coughing, chest and neck pain, but was repeatedly told there was nothing to worry about.

However, last October, she was told she has lung cancer which has spread to her brain and throughout her body and which is now terminal.

She said: "It was a total lack of care. I knew there was  something really wrong, but no one listened to me.”

In November 2013, Miss Major started suffering with various symptoms and tried to make an appointment to see her GP but instead saw the practice nurse who told her it was likely she just had a virus.

Her symptoms continued and she started with eyesight problems. At an eye test in early 2014, she was advised to go back to her GP for a full health check, which she did - but no investigations were carried out.

Last June, she visited the GP surgery again with the same symptoms and abdominal pain.  A colonoscopy for the abdominal pain came back normal.

But in August, her optician told Miss Major her symptoms needed to be urgently reviewed by her GP and wrote a referral letter.

Miss Major said that this time her doctor told her he had done all he could and she should see a psychiatrist.

Her condition deteriorated and, in September, she was rushed to hospital after developing a cough and chest pains and was taken for an x-ray and blood tests.  These showed she had a mass on her right lung.

A month later, Miss Major, a mother of two, was told she had, a "growing, aggressive lung cancer" which had been present for months rather than years.

She said: "The undiagnosed lung cancer has spread to my lymph nodes and to my brain. My family and I are traumatised and I feel wholly let down by the NHS.

"I visited my GP on so many occasions but I was told many different things and it took them collectively more than a year to diagnose my condition which is now deteriorating.”

A spokesman for Fitznells Manor Surgery said: "The practice was saddened to hear of this case, and our thoughts go out to the family at this difficult time. Due to its nature and our legal duty to uphold patient confidentiality, we are unable to comment further at this time other than to say we are looking into this matter appropriately."