Doctors Fail to Spot Cancer… Over 50 Times! Talk to the Press client Diana Guerra speaks to the Sunday Mirror about her sister who died after GPs missed her cancer more than 50 TIMES.
Diana Guerra was just 18 when her 29-year-old sister Luisa started complaining of extreme back pain. After numerous trips to the GP she was told there was nothing wrong with her and was advised to take Paracetemol for the pain. When she started suffering from irregular bleeding and excruciating headaches, GPs at City Way surgery in Rochester, Kent, told her she was ‘stressed’.
After more than 50 trips to the GP over the course of 18 months and another misdiagnosis of early menopause, desperate Diana begged her sister to go privately. Minutes after arriving at the clinic, Luisa was given an ultrasound and immediately diagnosed with cervical cancer. She was 31.
One week later she was transferred to Medway Hospital where doctors revealed she had stage 3a cervical cancer – and it was inoperable.
In June 2011 Luisa started chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Maidstone hospital and was given the all-clear by the end of the year. But after doctors told her she was in remission, her health deteriorated and the back pain continued.
For the next ten months she went back to her GP who prescribed her morphine for the pain and said they had found a 4.5mm tumour in her lymph nodes but that it was a harmless consequence of her radiotherapy. Ten months later she begged the GP for a scan and was devastated to hear she had incurable cancer. The tumour was now the size of a golf ball and she had other tumours in her neck and bowel.
Age 35, in February 2014, Luisa died after the tumour in her bowel caused a haemorrhage, leaving behind her husband and two young children. Her little sister Diana was distraught and has now filed an official complaint to City Way surgery for misdiagnosing her sister’s cancer and missing her returned cancer more than 50 times over five years. But history has repeated itself and shortly before Luisa’s death, the girls’ aunt started experiencing agonising stomach pains.
In January 2013 she visited the same GP surgery and was told to ‘take vitamins’ and that she was ‘stressed’. For six months she went back and forth to the surgery, desperate for answers. When she went back to complain of burning sensations in her stomach in June 2013, she told her she had gall stones and she was transferred to Medway hospital to have her gall bladder removed.
Again, after the operation her symptoms continued she went back to City Way surgery and was diagnosed with a hernia. In July 2014, more than one year after her first visit to the GP, she found a lump in her breast and experienced bleeding.
Feeling let down by her local GP again, worried Diana sent her auntie to Portugal, where she was born, to see a private specialist. She was immediately diagnosed with stage 3b breast cancer which had spread to her chest wall and put on a course of chemotherapy.
Separated from her two children, she is now undergoing treatment but doctors admit her cancer is very advanced and will be hard to fight. Diana is now battling to get answers from the surgery and has made two written complaints on behalf of her sister and aunt.
Diana said: “How ridiculous does this get? How many people are going to have to die before the GPs wake up? Not only did I lose my best friend and sister at such a young age because of someone else’s negligence but now history is repeating itself and I might lose my auntie.
“GPs don’t want to send patients for MRIs and CT scans because it’s too expensive for them. Of course I blame the surgery and its GPs, this is the second time this has happened to someone I love. My auntie is just one step away from terminal cancer and if they had taken her seriously and caught it earlier, she would have definitely survived. I am devastated.”
We placed Diana’s story with the Sunday Mirror and are in the process of securing her a magazine and TV deal.
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