Doctor apologises after failing to detect Colwick woman's bowel cancer
A MUM is urging people to get worrying health symptoms checked out properly – after she was offered treatment for piles when she had cancer.
Sharn Lilley yesterday started her fourth bout of chemotherapy since she was told she had colorectal, or bowel cancer.
And the 55-year-old says she feels angry that she was not examined because her GP was "running late" – even though she was displaying symptoms which could be associated with cancer.
Ms Lilley, a nurse from New Vale Road, Colwick, had visited Dr Shampa Hazra at Netherfield Medical Centre back in September 2011, and during her consultation she mentioned she had been bleeding from her backside.
Dr Hazra did not examine her, but gave her medication for piles.
Ms Lilley then waited seven weeks before visiting another doctor at the same surgery – because she said she thought her piles would heal. After being referred to hospital it was confirmed she had cancer.
She said: "I'm angry that I was not checked when I said I was bleeding from my rear – I know that is one of the symptoms of colorectal cancer.
"I feel as though if they had examined me then I might not be in the situation that I'm in now. I could die from this disease. I feel let down and my message to others is always get a second opinion. I was led to believe I had piles."
In August this year she had a tumour removed from her bowels, but the cancer had spread and she is having to continue with her chemotherapy.
Julian Williams, consultant surgeon at the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, carried out the operation on Ms Lilley. He said: "The key to surviving colorectal cancer is early diagnosis.
"If the disease is caught at its earliest stage the chance of being cured is over ninety per cent. Unfortunately many people present too late.
"Key things to look out for are bleeding from the bottom and changes in how frequently you go to the toilet, particularly if you need to go more often and with looser bowel movements.
"We would recommend anyone with these symptoms which last for more than a few weeks to seek advice from their GP."
"Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the UK. Approximately 16,000 people die from the disease each year."
Mrs Lilley's 21-year-old daughter Mica, who is training to be a teacher, said: "I want the best for my mum – and I believe she didn't get the medical attention she deserved."
In a letter to Ms Lilley, Dr Hazra said she thought she had piles rather than cancer due to the nature of the bleeding, but added: "I apologise that I did not examine you at the time as I was running late. My plan was that I would examine you in two weeks' time if you returned and told me that you were no better."
Ms Lilley disputes that two weeks was mentioned, and a copy of her medical notes does not make reference to this.
When contacted by the Post, neither the doctor or NHS Nottinghamshire County wanted to add anything to what had been said in the letter of apology.
Ms Lilley, who works on a stroke ward at Nottingham City Hospital, is due to have a scan next year to find out how effective her chemotherapy has been and whether her condition is terminal.