A young man has claimed doctors misdiagnosed his bowel cancer eight times as constipation.
Instead, doctors diagnosed the plasterer – who was otherwise a fit and healthy young man – with constipation, even after he’d asked whether his pain could be caused by Crohn’s disease or even cancer.
As George’s agony increased over the course of a year medics allegedly continued to treat the man with laxatives.
After 11 months, George was finally diagnosed with a rare cancerous tumour in March when doctors heeded his concerns and initiated a three-day investigation using a camera.
They found an 8cm-long tumour in his bowels that had been growing for a year or more.
George says he now has to use a colostomy bag and has been put on a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy to shrink the cancer before it can be removed.
He told the Mirror about his reaction to the diagnosis, explaining:
When I was told I had cancer I was just devastated. I don’t think it’s ever not shocking to be told that, whether it’s after two months of appointments or a year.
But the fact that they think it has been growing inside me all that time I was asking if it was cancer does upset me. The surgeons all said they never would have thought I could get bowel cancer at my age either.
George expressed his disappointment with his diagnosis, adding:
If this had been spotted when I first went in then it could have been removed easily. As it is they have to shrink it before hopefully getting it out.
All the staff at the Alexandra have been incredible, and without them it would have been so difficult.
It is just incredibly upsetting that my doctor never even considered me having cancer. After a while I started to think maybe I do just have constipation.
It does make me a little bit angry at my doctor. But they think I have got a chance of surviving this, so I’m just going to put everything into beating this.
His fiancee, Claire Vipon, who has set up a JustGiving page for George, said:
It was upsetting that it had been growing for a long time. We are heartbroken from the situation that George is in but we are staying positive together as a team and as a family and we know he will smash this.
We want to raise funds for current and future research for Bowel Cancer UK and we want to raise as much awareness as we can.
Age is just a number, and just because of your age you should never brush off your concerns you know your own body.
You can donate to help George and to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
We wish George all the best with his battle.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.