A Delayed Diagnosis
- Mother-of-one Kayleigh McLean , 24, initially thought the lump in her throat was from getting sick with COVID. Unfortunately, due to delays in medical care at the time, she wasn’t able to get in for a few months even for a biopsy.
- The lump had tripled by the time the time she was able to have it taken out, and then she found out it was stage 3 cancer.
- If you’re not getting in for care as quickly as you think you should be, go to someone else. Ring another hospital. Go to the emergency room. Don’t stop trying. Even if it requires multiple visits or seeing additional providers for a second opinion, always be your own advocate.
The lump had tripled by the time she had it taken out, along with half of her thyroid, and wound up being stage 3 cancer.Read More
When she finally had her surgery, which was over six months after discovering the tumor, it had grown to 8cm. Besides the size of the tumor and cancer stage, the rest of Kayleigh’s details are unclear.
“I only got my operation because there was a cancellation,” Kayleigh said. “I was phoning every couple of weeks and was told people with cancer were being given priority. But I had been told there was a high possibility I had cancer and I was already awaiting genetic testing because so many of my family have had cancer.”
Sadly, Kayleigh’s father died from stomach cancer, and her grandfather died from esophageal cancer.
“I just felt I was brushed aside.”
Advocating for your Health
Since the whole frustrating ordeal, Kayleigh has been back for a second surgery to remove the rest of her thyroid. She is currently awaiting news of her treatment plan and hasn’t been given a start date.
“Everything I know about the treatment I have found out myself on the internet. I feel very let down,” she said.
Even though Kayleigh had an unfortunate and potentially dangerous delay in receiving her diagnosis, it seems like she tried her best.
But when it comes to your health, be even pushier. You know your body better than anyone else.
When you see a doctor for a problem, don’t hesitate to make sure that your question is fully answered and that you are comfortable with the plan moving forward. From a doctor’s perspective, every problem should have a diagnosis, a treatment, a plan for follow-up, and a plan for what happens next if the treatment doesn’t work.
If you’re not getting in for care as quickly as you think you should be, go to someone else. Ring another hospital. Go to the emergency room. Don’t stop trying. Even if it requires multiple visits or seeing additional providers for a second opinion, always be your own advocate—and reach out for help to a professional or family member if needed.