"One year delay in diagnosing cancer"

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital

I went to see my GP as I found a small lump in my neck about the size of a small pea. I was only 38 so didn't think very much about it. My GP felt it was nothing but referred me to Maxial Facial at the County under the two week rule. I saw a consultant within fourteen days, which was good and the wanted to do a fine needle aspiration of the lump. The results were inconclusive and they couldn't rule cancer. They then sent me for a core biopsy. This agin was inconclusive but pathology reported that it was a poor quality sample. Three months later I had a letter asking me to attend clinic for another core biopsy this time guided. This I did. It's worth pointing out that each time I received the results it was always from the same consultant. Each time I saw them the lump was getting just a little bigger. I was concerned that this was now something more serious. However, always reassured by the consultant saying that I had nothing to worry about, the lump was no cancer, likely to be a blocked gland. Anyway, after hearing nothing about the result of the last test. The lump was still growing I call the consultant secretary to find out when my appointment would be. I was shocked to find that they had missed placed my notes and results. I had literally been lost and forgotten in the system. I was given a appointment to see them again. At this appointment the lump in my neck was the size of a golf ball, clearly visible in my neck. But yet again the consultant told me it was nothing to worry and in their words defiantly not cancer. In their opinion the risks of removing the lump were greater than leaving it alone. Their advice was leave it until it gets bigger, that way it would be easier to remove. I insisted it was removed asap, the consultant said well if you do. It's going to be under a cosmetic list, I would have a wait as it wasn't an emergency. Five months later, the lump was finally removed. Ten days later I was having my first meeting with an oncologist and we were discussing the Non Hodgkins Lympoma which had spread through my body. Thankfully, I'm now in remission. Oh btw I'm a senior nurse so I knew what I was talking about.

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Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

Thank you for your message.

Please contact PALS on 01273 664973 or at pals@bsuh.nhs.uk should you wish to discuss this further.

Kind regards

Patient Experience Team

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