"GPs in a hurry"

About: Berkshire West PCT Royal Berkshire Hospital / Dermatology St Peter's Hospital / Dermatology

(as the patient),

About 5 years ago, I went to my GP to sort out some health issues that I was unhappy with, at the age of 68.

My hearing was deteriorating, as was my sight, nocturnal visits to the toilet and a skin sore behind my ear that would not heal. The Doctor was given details of my home remedies that I had tried to cure the sore, but this was not considered and I was prescribed a Cortizone cream (which I had already tried). The other complaints could not be looked at, as it would take more than the 5 minute allotted time. Though these were addressed eventually later.

I used the prescribed cream for several months, but as before it had no effect on the healing of the sore. I returned to the surgery and requested a second opinion with a skin specialist. This referral was promptly made and I was seen -to be told that I had melanoma. This was removed within 2 weeks, a patch the size of a 50p coin taken out. The surgeon complained that it had been left far too long!

After a further 3-4 months, I noticed a tiny lump on the site and was removed pronto. This proved to be malignant cancer, a further operation was performed to scrape the area and I had radio therapy for several weeks. All this seems related to the fact that the GP did not recognise the `sore` as melanoma, and insufficient time and consideration given to my problem and what steps I had already taken.

Some 4 years later, I had to have the prostate removed also because of cancer, and an eye condition is being monitored by the oncology unit at Moorfields. All this I feel may be connected with this original skin problem.

The frequent night toilet visits was because of enlarged prostate, the hearing was addressed by hearing aids, and my sight vastly improved by cataract operations. All because of my age!

I would say that I had very good care and treatment at the NHS Hospitals and cannot thank them enough.

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