A STUDENT who was told by doctors her bleeding was “hormonal” turned out to have a deadly condition.
Jaelle Goddard, 24 years old, is get over the blood clot the size of a fist for three months, the documents claim also that she probably had a miscarriage.
But Jaelle, who was living in Barbados at the time, knew something was wrong.
In the end, she went to A&E because she was so worried and the doctors performed a cervical exam on her.
Jaelle was told that she had cervical cancer at the age of 23 and it had spread throughout her body.
The disease is diagnosed 3,200 times a year in the UK, killing 850 people.
Although it is more common in young women, there are no more than 60 cases in women under 25, according to Cancer Research UK.
Jaelle, who was married, never even had smear test – screening tool used to prevent cervical cancer.
In the UK, NHS invitations are sent to women after their 25th birthday.
Jaelle says: “For those who have symptom – I want to tell them to check out.
“This is never a waste of time, it has the potential to save your life, and if the diagnosis is inconsistent, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.
“I think if my symptoms had been taken more seriously, we might have had the cancer earlier.
“Cervical smear testing should be done at an earlier age, because clearly cancer doesn’t wait for you to turn 25.”
Cervical cancer is known as the “silent killer” because it often has no or few symptoms in its early stages.
Jaelle recounted having vaginal bleeding between periods in March 2021.
During her first visit to the doctor about the problem, she was advised that it could be hormonal and not to worry.
Vaginal bleeding is the main sign of cervical cancer. It can also be caused by STI, miscarriage, PCOS, or birth control.
Jaelle’s bleeding got worse and when she returned to the doctors, the doctors said she might have miscarried.
She was sent for an ultrasound after once again insisting to her doctor that something was wrong.
The young woman was later told she had fibroids and hydrosalpinx, a condition in which the fallopian tubes fill with blood.
She was given antibiotics because doctors suspected she might have had an infection – but nothing stopped the bleeding.
“The bleeding got worse to the point of constant bleeding and blood clots the size of a palm,” says Jaelle.
“I had an accident and went to the emergency room because I was so scared at that point.
“There they did blood tests, STD screening, and a pelvic exam, which is where my first cancer concerns were raised and I was rushed to an obstetrician and gynecologist.
“He then did a pap smear – this was my first – and told me it would most likely come back as abnormal as my cervix looked ‘angry’.
“It was, so we did a biopsy, and I was told I had high-grade dysplasia.”
Dysplasia is a sign of abnormal cells on the cervix.
The NHS says when abnormal cells are found in a smear test, an endoscopy may be needed. The abnormal cells sometimes go away on their own, but can turn cancerous if left untreated.
Jaelle was treated – large loop ablation of the transformed area (LLETZ) – to remove the abnormal cells.
Advanced cancer diagnosis
But a biopsy from the cells showed cancer. It was June, three months after Jaelle’s symptoms began.
“I was called in and everything was explained to me,” Jaelle said.
Jaelle is informed that her cancer is too advanced for them to be treated on the island. At stage 3C, the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in her stomach and pelvis.
At this stage, about 40% of patients will survive their cancer for 5 years or more.
I think if my symptoms had been taken more seriously, we could have found my cancer sooner.
“I didn’t really process the diagnosis because everything happened so quickly,” Jaelle said.
“It has made me very paranoid and upset because I have been misdiagnosed.”
Jaelle returned to London, where she lived as a child, for treatment.
She was told that she would never be able to have children and that she would experience early menopause.
With such advanced cancer, Jaelle was invited to participate in a clinical trial that would give her the best chance of survival.
However, it was only given privately, meaning she had to raise £100,000 for the full course of treatment, including chemotherapy.
Jaelle says: “I’m lucky to have such a response to my fundraising. We raised around £22k.
“This took me a long time and we ended up delaying the treatment until August because of lack of funding.
“I completed my treatment in November and am currently waiting for tests to see if my cancer is in remission but while battling it I have had to take time off work and school.
“Everything I do is affected because my energy is very low and my body feels tired and sore.
“I lost about 11lbs during the treatment – plus the amount of weight I lost from the start of my symptoms until the start of treatment made me go down three dress sizes, from a size 14 to a size 8.
“All in all, between the stress of fundraising, delaying treatment and dealing with cancer, it’s been tough both physically and mentally.
“But it really made me realize that I need to take more care of myself and put in more effort to do the things that make life worthwhile and make me happy.
“It’s also made me more aware of the importance of real preventative care, so I’ve made sure I’ve checked everything out for the time being.”
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8235844/doctors-said-bleeding-hormonal-but-cervical-cancer/ Doctors said my bleeding was ‘hormonal’ but I was diagnosed as a silent killer after being taken to A&E