Southsea grandmother receives a cancer diagnosis months after being referred - and may take legal action against Queen Alexandra Hospital
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Christine Candy, of Southsea, is trying to raise awareness of the warning signs of the disease after she has received the shocking diagnosis that her gynaecological cancer is terminal.
She initially went to a GP in March 2020, and the doctor referred her to a gynaecology clinic under the two-week urgent cancer referral, after an ulcerated area of between 1cm to 2cm was found.
Christine was seen at the clinic, at Queen Alexandra Hospital, where they sent her for non-urgent tests and prescribed her a HRT cream, but she continued to experience bleeding and in July 2020, she was referred to the clinic by her GP for the second time.
After having to wait nearly four months to be seen at the clinic, there was an area of suspicion found during a scan. Following further tests, it was confirmed that she had stage four cancer in December 2020 – nearly eight months after experiencing unusual bleeding.
Christine said: ‘I was absolutely shocked when I was told I had stage four cancer. I knew something wasn’t quite right, but nothing prepared me for the diagnosis. I am heartbroken that I will not be here to enjoy the retirement we had worked hard for or to see my grandchildren grow up.
‘I have so many questions over whether my cancer could have been found sooner and if it was, would it have meant a different future for me.
‘Sadly, however, it’s too late and there’s nothing that can be done to change the outcome. I just hope that by speaking out I can help others identify the signs to look out for.’
Christine has instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care under Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and help her access the specialist therapies and support that she will require.
Over the last two years, Christine has had chemotherapy and treatment for pelvic lymphadenopathy, which is a swelling of the lymph glands as well as radiotherapy and brachytherapy, but it has been confirmed that her cancer is now terminal.
She is hoping to try and raise awareness of the warning signs of cancer in order to prevent the same thing happening to others.
Alice Webster, the specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Christine, said: ‘Christine has been left devastated at her initial diagnosis then the subsequent news that her cancer is now terminal. Understandably Christine continues to have many questions over her diagnosis.’
Christine added: ‘I also want some answers. I wish that I wasn’t in this position, but I can’t change that and I feel that answers are the least I deserve.
‘I want to raise awareness of these issues to encourage other women like myself to trust their instincts and push for more thorough investigations when they feel something is not quite right. I want to urge women to persist in pushing for the answers when they are the ones who know their bodies the best and if something’s wrong.’